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Handling Murray Cod

9 January 2015

Fishers are asked to familiarise themselves with correct procedures for handling Murray Cod, as the catch and release season is now open.

Murray Cod

As part of Murray Cod management, the fishery is open for catch and release fishing from January 1 until July 31.

The decision to continue these arrangements follows the completion of research by SARDI into the stock status of Murray Cod, which indicates the population remains low.

The catch and release arrangements have been in place since 2011 and will continue to provide ongoing protection to Murray Cod stocks, which is a vital species for the ecology of the river system.

It is illegal to lift any size Murray Cod out of the water in South Australia and during the catch and release season fishers must carefully extract or release the hook with the fish still submerged - or risk an on-the-spot fine or maximum penalty of $10,000 if prosecuted.

The following handling techniques are recommended:

  • avoid using tight 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.

Under the current management arrangements, it’s also illegal to target or take Murray Cod in any section of the Chowilla floodplain.

Anyone who spots suspicious illegal fishing activity can report it on the 24 hour Fishwatch number 1800 065 522 or through the free SA Recreational Fishing Guide smartphone app, which can be downloaded from

For more information on safe handling techniques for releasing Murray Cod, visit the PIRSA website to watch a demonstration video or download a brochure.