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Dpi Seminar Focuses On Saving An Aussie Icon – Tro

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Australian freshwater cod species are icons of Australian waterways. However, their decline during the past century is now well documented.

Trout cod, eastern freshwater cod and Mary River cod are currently all listed nationally as ‘endangered’, and Murray cod is listed as ‘vulnerable’, under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

A research project to re-establish trout cod populations will be the focus of the latest in a monthly series of highly successful seminars held by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) at its Narrandera Fisheries Centre, John Lake Centre, Buckingbong Road, Narrandera at 7 pm, Monday 4 July.

At the seminar research scientists from Environment ACT Brendan Ebner and Jason Thiem will give a detailed overview of the first experiment in the project investigating the movements of adult trout cod stocked as fingerlings compared with on-grown hatchery reared trout cod in the Murrumbidgee River.

The first experiment, of one year’s duration, was recently completed in the Murrumbidgee River at Narrandera. It involved the release of 27 two-year-old trout cod sourced from the Snobs Creek Hatchery in Victoria.

The dispersal of these hatchery fish was compared with 31 ‘wild’ sub-adult trout cod previously stocked as fingerlings in the Murrumbidgee River.

These ‘wild’ fish were captured by boat electro-fishing during a number of weeks with the help of staff from NSW DPI.

All 58 individuals were implanted with radio-transmitters and once recovered from surgery, were released at a location five kilometres upstream of Narrandera.

The second experiment in the project is currently underway with 72 on-grown trout cod fitted with radio-transmitters, being radio-tracked in the Cotter and Murrumbidgee Rivers in the ACT.

“The results from both experiments will have important implications for the management and re-establishment of freshwater cod, particularly targeting the issues of stocking densities and site retention of stocked individuals in different sized rivers,” Mr Ebner said.

The research has been funded primarily through the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Environment ACT and NSW DPI.

The John Lake Centre includes an aquarium and poster display, which will be open for inspection before and after the seminar for anyone wishing to undertake a casual tour of the facilities.

Light refreshments and a BBQ meal will be available after the seminar at a cost of $3 a person. NSW DPI staff will also be available if you wish to discuss any topics in greater detail.

Due to limited seating arrangements, the maximum attendance at these seminars is 55 people, so if you are interested in attending it is essential that you book ahead, to avoid disappointment.

Bookings can be made by calling the Narrandera Fisheries Centre on (02) 6959 9021 between 9 am and 4:30 pm Monday to Friday.

If you intend to stay for the $3 BBQ meal please inform the staff member at the time of booking.

If you have booked but cannot attend, for catering purposes it would be appreciated if you could please telephone the centre in advance to cancel your booking.

The talks will take about one hour and the evening will conclude at approximately 9 pm.

MEDIA CONTACT: SARAH CHESTER (02) 6036 2110 OR 0417 207 669.

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