Grunter (Barred Grunter)
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
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