July 1, 1980: Motel's fishy story

August 22, 2017

Big Valley motelier-restaureteur-sportsman Danny Moncur has an attack of the salmon trout. 

It's not cause for alarm already troubled Tatura Football club supporters... it's part of a unique service Danny and Gloria Moncur are offering at their Shepparton motel-restaurant in Wyndham St, Shepparton. 

The Big Valley is believed the only Victorian country motel where patrons may select their own fish, live and swimming, and catch it themselves if they want to, for one of the three trout dishes on the restaurant menu. 

Danny has a shoal of 679 (about 1 1/2 pounds) "perfect pan size" trout stocked in the motel swimming pool after procuring 100 fish from the Albury trout farm. 

"It's certainly aroused interest," Mr Moncur said this morning while the fish leapt and cavorted around the pool as he threw handfuls of feed into the clear water. 

"I suppose a few will be poached in the early hours of the morning but we'll cook them up for the poacher's breakfast," he grinned.

The fish looked tickled pink, and since they're rainbow trout, several other hues about their new home. 

"I've become a bit of a fish expert, we have to keep the pool constantly vacuumed and feed them properly," Mr Moncur said. 

He said the only other place he has seen fresh trout are kept adjacent to a restaurant is in Melbourne's city centre.

Mr Moncur a builder by trade, bought the Big Valley last November. 

But he still manages to find time for his first sporting love, football, with Tatura in the Goulburn Valley League. 

The Big Valley pool, incidentally, will only be stocked with trout for the winter months - and it will be cleaned out and repainted in October for the summer - so if you fancy fresh fish at its best by new chef John McIntyre, now's the time. 

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