Murray Cod is an iconic but threatened fish in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin. It is one of the largest native freshwater fish in Australia and is an important target species for recreational fishers. There was a Murray Cod commercial fishery in the River Murray until mid-2003.
The Murray Cod has been listed as a threatened species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 since 2003. Fishing for Murray Cod has been restricted since 2008 due to stock concerns. The fishery was closed to all activity in 2009 before being reopened for a limited catch and release season each year since 2011.
There are annual closures and limited catch and release seasons to protect Murray Cod stocks.
Handling Murray Cod
The Murray Cod fishery is open for catch and release from 1 January to 31 July each year.
It is illegal to lift any size Murray Cod out of the water in South Australia. During the catch and release season fishers must carefully extract or release the hook while the fish is still submerged in the water.
Murray Cod must be handled with extreme care when catching and releasing. The following handling techniques are recommended:
- avoid using light lines and playing the fish to exhaustion
- use barbless hooks or barbless trebles on lures
- use a knotless landing net to support the fish in the water
- cut the line outside the mouth for deep hooked fish and don’t try to remove the hook
- if using a fish grip, don’t hold the fish vertically in the water.
Murray Cod Stock Enhancement Program
Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) is working with the Riverland community to design a stock enhancement and monitoring program within the parts of the River Murray that run through South Australia.
A best practice stock enhancement program is being designed by PIRSA with assistance from:
- scientific experts
- government agency representatives
- RecFish SA.
- Media release: Murray Cod to be released in River Murray - 2 February 2016
- Media release: 100,000 Murray Cod fingerlings to be released - 23 December 2015
- Media release: Important notice: 12 August Murray Bridge community forum postponed - 11 August 2015
- Media release: Recreational fishers hook Murray Cod data - 10 June 2015
- Media release: Calls for recreational fishers to help with Murray Cod catch data - 14 April 2015
- Media release: Fishers invited to Murray Cod community forum - 14 April 2015
- Media release: Re-stocking the river with prized Murray Cod - 11 December 2014