Jump to content

Trout Cod Taken Back To The River

Ken A

Recommended Posts

In a landmark event the NSW Department of Primary Industries has bred and released 905,000 endangered native Trout cod into the Murray-Darling River system since the program began in 1986.

Trout cod bred at the Narrandera Fisheries Centre have been released in suitable sections of the Macquarie, Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers where they once naturally occurred.

NSW DPI fish breeder, Stephen Thurstan, said the latest release of 73,000 fingerlings (baby fish) was made this month at six sites along the Murrumbidgee between Cooma and Burrinjuck Dam.

“Anglers say they are catching a lot of Trout cod, also known as Blue nose cod, near our release sites,” Mr Thurstan said.

“But until NSW DPI researchers can prove the fish are surviving and breeding naturally in the wild it remains a protected species and if caught must be released immediately - unharmed.”

He said anglers may be catching Trout cod because they are such an aggressive fish, not because their survival rates are high.

Anglers are already contributing to the survival of the Trout cod through their fishing licenses.

Recreational Fishing Freshwater Trust funds are being used to rehabilitate and restore parts of the Murray-Darling River system to boost the Trout cod's chances of survival.

“The changes we've made to the river system since European settlement have really impacted on native fish numbers, and we aim to restore and better manage the rivers so these beautiful fish can breed naturally in the wild,” he said.

With one restocked population in the Murrumbidgee now apparently breeding in the wild, the aim is to establish more breeding populations.

Mr Thurstan said trout cod numbers were dangerously low when they were first identified as a distinct species from Murray cod in 1972.

“It's important for anglers to be able to distinguish the two species. Trout cod are usually grey with black spots with a distinctive over-hanging nose and are quite different from the greener, mottled Murray cod.”

Trout cod and Murray cod can be seen at the John Lake Centre in Narrandera and information on both species can be found at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au

For more information on the breeding and restocking program contact Stephen Thurstan, NSW DPI Narrandera (02) 6959 9021; Sam Davis, NSW DPI Dubbo (02) 6881 1284; Tony Day, NSW DPI Yass (02) 6226 3867 or Christopher Clarke, NSW DPI Jindabyne (02) 6451 3402.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...