The Marshall Liberal Government is today delivering on its commitment to the recreational fishing community by releasing 90,000 Murray Cod fingerlings into the River Murray.
Part of a suite of measures announced to support anglers in response to recent snapper fishing changes, the State Government has committed $200,000 over two years for the project which is designed to build recreational fishing opportunities over the long term.
The juvenile fish will be released at sites that have been identified to have suitable habitat to maximise survival of the fingerlings. Approximately 70,000 fingerlings will be released into waters around Kingston on Murray and the remaining 20,000 fingerlings released into the Pike River near Paringa. A further 110,000 fingerlings will be released in a second stocking event in early 2021.
Acting Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the restocking was an important step in rebuilding a healthy population of Murray Cod in the River Murray.
“Murray Cod is an iconic and extremely important species to the River Murray and the stocking program is an exciting step for the recreational fishing community,” said Acting Minister van Holst Pellekaan.
“Restocking will not only support the recovery of this much-loved species, but the ultimate goal is to create a sustainable Murray Cod fishery so that people can enjoy catching these unique fish for many years to come.
“The restocking was a request of the Minister’s Recreational Fishing Advisory Council (MRFAC) and our Government has been working with members to determine the release locations that will give these fingerlings the best possible chance of survival.
“In the long term these restocking initiatives will contribute to the revitalisation of recreational fishing opportunities for locals and visitors to the region.”
Murray Cod is one of the largest and most iconic native freshwater fish in Australia and fingerlings can take three to five years to grow to a fishable size, depending on the quality of the habitat and water.
Inland fishing representative on the MRFAC Peter Teakle said the fishing community had welcomed the release as a positive step by the Government in supporting Murray Cod Stocking programs.
“Restocking is helping to revitalise the cod population in the lower River Murray,” said Mr Teakle.
“River fishing offers a unique fishing experience, and the opportunity to target an iconic species like the Murray Cod is a drawcard that will establish the region as a premier fishing destination.”
The restocking project is led by PIRSA, with members of the MRFAC, River Murray community and recreational fishers to assist in releasing fingerlings at key sites.