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Dpi Project To Help Save Trout Cod

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The trout cod was once abundant and widespread in the southern Murray-Darling river system including tributaries of the Murray River, the Murrumbidgee and the upper half of the Macquarie River.

Unfortunately trout cod populations have dramatically declined since European settlement and it is now listed as endangered in NSW.

DPI has received an Environmental Trust grant to rehabilitate the habitat of the trout cod in the Murrumbidgee River system.

Jenny Fredrickson Conservation Management Officer DPI Fisheries Management said rehabilitation work had commended at Tarcutta Creek in the Murrumbidgee catchment.

She said the Tarcutta site was chosen following a prioritisation process, which involved gathering information on current distribution and abundance, stocking and recapture information, and habitat requirements of trout cod.

“The Tarcutta Creek site covers approximately 26 kilometres beginning at the Sturt Highway bridge and extending downstream to the junction with the Murrumbidgee River,” Ms Fredrickson said.

She said habitat rehabilitation works may involve a range of restoration activities including restoring fish passage, improving stream bank vegetation, fencing to exclude stock, erosion control and placement of large woody debris in streams for habitat and fish nesting sites.

“The Tarcutta project is progressing well with weed control, particularly willows, and in-stream creek improvement works well on the way,” she said.

Ms Fredrickson said the only remaining natural trout cod population existed in the Murray River between Yarrawonga and Tocumwal. With the support of fishing licence funds, the DPI freshwater stocking program has also established a reproducing population in the Murrumbidgee River near Narrandera.

“The trout cod is a large deep-bodied fish, which looks very similar to Murray cod and normally grows to about 50 centimeters and 1.5 kilograms.

“It is illegal to catch and keep, buy, sell, possess or harm trout cod without a specific permit, licence or other appropriate authority,” she said.

Ms Fredrickson said DPI would like to work with local landholders and the community to identify specific areas to restore cod habitat.

For further information or if you would like to become involved in the Tarcutta project please contact DPI Conservation Management Officer Luke Pearce at Wagga Wagga on

(02) 6938 1963.

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

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