What's a big fish like you doing in a place like this?

Sascha Schulz was cooling off during lunchtime on a hot day when he spotted a large fish in the still pool below Tallowa Dam. The fish was a Murray Cod, Maccullochella peelii, a species not previously recorded from the Shoalhaven River. In his own words Sascha "nearly swallowed my snorkel" when he saw the fish underwater. Fortunately, he managed to take a photo despite the poor visibility.
The following day Sascha's team of contractors were running the fishlift and were surprised to find the 85 cm long fish in the fishlift hopper. The fish was released alive.
The Murray Cod is an endemic freshwater species that occurs throughout the Murray-Darling River system. View more information. It has also been released into a number of New South Wales water-bodies including Cataract Dam, a Sydney water supply reservoir.
How did a Murray Cod end up at Tallowa Dam on the Shoalhaven River? NSW Fisheries have not released this species, but advised that "any future captures be euthanised to prevent a population establishing."
References:
  1. Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
  2. McDowall, R.M. 1996. Freshwater Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Reed Books. Pp. 247.
Posted by markmcg markmcg, October 26, 2017 05:05

Comments

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Probably an escapee from someone's farm dam or an aquarium release. I've heard reports of Silver Perch in the Shoalhaven as well.

Posted by allanlugg about 3 years ago (Flag)
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There is a farm on the Kangaroo arm of the impoundment that boasts of its massive Murray Cod. Stocked illegally I suspect...

Posted by sascha_schulz about 3 years ago (Flag)
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Oh dear... is it visible on Google Earth?

Posted by markmcg about 3 years ago (Flag)
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Sort of, I won't point out the location, I'll let Fisheries deal with it

Posted by sascha_schulz about 3 years ago (Flag)
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Onya.

Posted by markmcg about 3 years ago (Flag)

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