To make the removal of fishing tackle easier from a hooked Murray Cod, PIRSA in consultation with RecFish SA, has simplified the way in which this can be done to still remain within the rules, but give the Murray Cod a good chance of survival upon release.
From January 1 to July 31 annually, the Murray Cod catch and release season is open. Recreational fishers can enjoy fishing for this species, but once caught the fish must be unhooked and released back in to the water immediately.
Murray Cod are fragile, particularly the larger ones, and must be handled with extreme care and respect.
When fishing for a Murray Cod, remember to:
- avoid using light lines and playing the fish to exhaustion
- use barbless hooks or barbless trebles on lures
- use a knotless landing net to support the fish in the water
- cut the line outside the mouth for deep hooked fish and don't try to remove the hook
- if using a fish grip, don't hold the fish vertically in the water.
Once a Murray Cod has been hooked and is ready to be released back to the water:
- support the weight of the fish, lifting only its head from the water
- avoid handling the fins or gills
- carefully dislodge the hook using pliers, ensuring that the fish is not lifted out of the water past the gills
- once the hook is removed, gently release the fish back into the river.
These updated guidelines are designed to help fishers catch and release a Murray Cod, and safeguard the future of this iconic fish.
South Australia's Murray Cod handling methods have been updated based on scientific data, current fisheries management practices and with input from recreational freshwater fishers.
View the handling methods in the following video:
Note that each state has different Murray Cod handling laws. If fishing near or across the border, check with that state's fisheries department for details.