100,000 Murray Cod fingerlings to be released

4 January 2016

The State Government will release 100,000 Murray Cod fingerlings in the South Australian section of the River Murray as part of an ongoing trial to boost the local population.

Murray Cod is an iconic river fish and a popular species among recreational fishers.

This stock enhancement trial is an important step in ensuring there is a healthy population and sustainable recreational fishery.

The increase in the population will generate fishing and tourism opportunities for river communities. Many South Australian and interstate visitors fish in the River Murray and it’s estimated about $150 million is pumped into the visitor economy each year as a direct result.

The fingerlings, which will be released early next year, were purchased from native hatcheries interstate.

Fishing of Murray Cod has been restricted since 2008, with the fishery closed to all activity in 2009 and opened for a limited catch and release season each year since 2011. It is also illegal to take Murray Cod out of the water in order to take photographs.

RecFish SA Executive David Ciaravolo said many South Australian recreational fishers would be thrilled to know the fingerlings had been purchased, ready for stocking.

"RecFish SA and the river fishing community have been strong supporters of stocking Murray Cod for many years," he said.

"One-hundred-thousand fish is a positive start and we look forward to working with government and the community to help ensure a sustainable stocking program and a bright future for Murray Cod in South Australia."

The Murray Cod Stock Enhancement Project is led by PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture, with a working group of representatives from SARDI Aquatic Sciences, the Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources, RecFish SA and industry experts.

The restocking project is also being undertaken in conjunction with Fisheries Victoria.

A public meeting will be held to discuss the restocking program at the Renmark Hotel Function Room on January 20 at 7pm.