Murray Cod to be released in River Murray

2 February 2016

Murray Cod fingerlings will be released into the River Murray today in order to boost the population of the iconic species.

During the next few weeks, 100,000 fingerlings will be released in the Riverland and Murraylands.

This is the first time stocking has been trialled in South Australia and the support from the river fishing community during the past 12 months has been brilliant.

This trial an important step in determining whether stocking could be a viable option for establishing a healthy population of Murray Cod in South Australia.

The stocking of 50,000 fingerlings will take place near Kingston on Murray between Lock 3 and 4. The remaining 50,000 fingerlings will be released near Swan Reach, below Lock 1.

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.

As well as supporting the recovery of the species, the stocking program helps to revitalise the recreational fishery and attract many South Australian and interstate visitors to the region. This is great news for Murray Cod, river fishers and the region.

RecFish SA Executive David Ciaravolo said he was thrilled to see the stocking underway.

"RecFish SA have been strong advocates for stocking Murray Cod for many years. We’ve seen the success of stocking interstate, so now we have good reason to be very excited about the future of the fishery here in SA," he said.

The project is led by PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture, with an expert working group from SARDI Aquatic Sciences, DEWNR, RecFish SA and interstate stock enhancement experts.

The restocking project is being undertaken in conjunction with Fisheries Victoria, using fingerlings purchased from established interstate native fish hatcheries.