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Author Topic: From the Fishers Mouth - Murray Cod  (Read 8066 times)

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From the Fishers Mouth - Murray Cod
« on: April 19, 2011, 10:30:23 PM »
From the Fishers Mouth
19th April 2011

Murray Cod

The premier fish in our rivers and lakes is undoubtedly the Murray cod. This fish is an inland icon with its history entwined with early explorers such as Sturt and Oxley who dined largely on cod as they navigated the inland rivers.

Our taste for Murray cod grew from these early days where a few fish were taken for a meal to a massive commercial industry where thousands of tons of cod (and other native species) were harvested annually and sent to market in Melbourne.

Concern was expressed as early as the late 1800s about the amount of cod that were being sent to market, however the commercial harvest continued, reaching a peak in the 1950s where massive amounts of fish were taken. The population of this once abundant fish was decimated with fisherman of the sixties, seventies and eighties forced to try and capture the remnants of a once bulging population of fish.

The commercial fishery for cod ceased in all states in the early 2000s as fishery managers realised that in order for cod to make a comeback, we needed changes. Re-stocking, size and bag limits, removal of commercial licences and other amendments allowed the Murray cod to start its revival.

It is estimated that we only have about ten per cent of the fish population that existed pre-white settlement, but in the past two decades there has been a marked improvement in the numbers and size of cod available in the Murrumbidgee River in particular. Where two decades ago it was challenging to catch a cod of any size, it is now possible to spend a day on the river and land cod big and small using a rod and reel.

Generations to come will enjoy the changes made in the past twenty years with cod growing in number and size each year.

April and May are the best months to target large Murray cod with the cooling water making these fish hungry. If you are fortunate enough to land a large cod, handle it with care, and release it after a few photos to fight another day. They are too precious a resource to whittle away after so much time and effort has gone into rebuilding the great Murray cod.

Picture - Ken & Lewis Read along with Anthony Woodward landed this excellent Murray cod in the Murrumbidgee River


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