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Banded Grunter (Barred Grunter)

There have been several species of fish introduced into southeast Qld's lakes and rivers over the years. One of the more recent arrivals, that are fast becoming a nuisance to anglers, is the banded grunter.
Originally from central and northern Qld, these small aquatic invaders have been recently recorded in lakes Somerset, Wivenhoe and the Hinze Dam at the Gold Coast. Capable of feeding on virtually anything they can fit in their mouths, they have a preference for shrimp and insects but will live on algae if nothing else is available. Banded grunter are an attractive aquarium fish that are very aggressive to other species.
They are easily identifiable by their distinct pale color with five vertical black stripes and yellowish fins. Usually quite small 5 - 10 cm being the common size with the odd specimen growing to over 20 cm in length in their natural range.
They frequent weedy banks and shallow backwaters and are a common capture when bait fishing for more desirable species such as bass and yellow belly. They will often be attracted by the smell of fresh bait and can pick baits to pieces in short order, thus making a pest of themselves. They will form loose schools that patrol lake fringes in search of anything they can kill and eat. Being so aggressive, banded grunter will often out compete local fish and take their place in the food chain. This is why any banded grunter caught in SE Qld should be destroyed.
Banded grunter have a firm whit flesh that is quite tasty, but these fish are often too small to go to the bother of preparing them for a meal.

Garry Fitzgerald.

Banded Grunter
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Copyright© 2000 Garry Fitzgerald. Sweetwater Fishing Australia