SA Marine Parks: Commercial Fisheries Voluntary Catch/Effort Reduction Program
The offer period for licence holders to surrender licence and/or entitlements is now closed.
Find out more
Fish mortalities response
Latest update available now
Recreational shark fishing restrictions
Restrictions on targeted recreational shark fishing in metropolitan waters have been updated. Find out more
Redmap launches in SA
Redmap is a new and interactive website, that invites the Australian community to spot, log and map marine species that are uncommon in Australia, or along particular parts of our coast. Find out more
Recreational fishing possession limits begin
Recreational fishing possession limits are now in place in South Australia, limiting the amount of King George Whiting, Pipi and Razorfish that recreational fishers can catch and stockpile. View media release and find out more
Download the Murray Cod Recreational Fishing brochure ()
A guide to improve survival rates of line-caught Murray Cod and current Murray Cod fishing regulations.
The Murray Cod is a prized catch for recreational fishers, but its very survival is threatened by many things including over-fishing. Watch this short video to find out more about what the South Australian government is doing to provide ongoing protection to Murray Cod stocks.
Murray Cod is the largest freshwater fish in Australia, reaching a recorded weight of greater than 100 kg and a length of 1.8 m. Murray Cod are slow growing and long-lived, potentially living to over 45 years of age.
Murray Cod forms an integral part of the riverine ecosystem being top of the food chain in the freshwater food web. It is also culturally important to many Australian communities and has acquired an iconic status due to its impressive size and aggressive/territorial nature.
Murray Cod age and size at maturity vary between populations. They generally mature at 4 – 6 years and are approximately 500–600 mm total length. Nevertheless, age and size data at maturity for populations of Murray Cod in the lower Murray River is lacking. Murray Cod have a relatively short, well-defined breeding season, with spawning occurring in spring and early summer cued by increasing photoperiod (i.e. longer days) and water temperature.
Females can lay up to 90,000 eggs, with the number of eggs generally proportional to the size of the female. Eggs are deposited on hard surfaces such as inside hollow logs, or on rocks or clay banks. Murray Cod spawn annually, but in the lower River Murray relatively strong year classes may only be established when the breeding season coincides with high river flows, both within channel and overbank.
Recent investigations of Murray Cod movement in the lower Murray River suggest that Murray Cod may undertake spawning and non-spawning movements of 10s – 100s km along the main channel of the Murray River and between main channel and off-channel habitats (e.g. the Chowilla Anabranch system). Murray cod, however, can also be sedentary and juvenile and adult fish may show differences in behaviour and movement.
Murray Cod consume a wide variety of prey. They ingest virtually anything that takes their fancy, including waterfowl, rats and carp. Beer cans, bottle tops and other shiny debris have also been reported from the stomach of Murray cod.
Murray Cod habitat varies greatly from small clear rocky streams to the generally turbid, slow-flowing rivers and creeks. Murray Cod are generally found in or near deep holes and prefer habitats containing cover such as rocks, fallen trees, stumps, and clay banks or overhanging vegetation.
|Type of fish||Freshwater|
|Common name||Murray Cod|
|Scientific name||Maccullochella peelii|
Catch and release only.
It is an offence to remove Murray Cod from the water.
|Closed season|| |
Taking of Murray Cod is prohibited between 1 August and 31 December inclusive. A ban has been placed on trolling from a moving vessel for all freshwater fish species within these dates.
The taking of Murray Cod is prohibited from any section of the Chowilla floodplain north of the River Murray (excluding the River Murray) between 34°9'46.70" South, 140°45'30.38" East (Ral Ral Creek) upstream to the River Murray at 34°1'14.60" South, 141°0’9.69" East (South Australia and New South Wales border) from 1 January to 31 December.