Please select your home edition
Marina Exchange 728x90 1

Electro-fishing partners unite again for mighty Murray Cod

by Richard Bryce 28 May 2019 05:29 UTC
Murray cod caught at Rocklands Reservoir in early 2016 © Chris Spence

Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is again partnering with the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) to relocate hundreds of Murray Cod and other high-value native fish caught up in the East Goulburn Main Irrigation Channel.

At the same time, the organisations expect to bring a smile to the faces of local anglers by re-stocking family friendly fishing spots at Lake Benalla, Broken Creek at Nathalia and Victoria Park Lake in Shepparton.

Taking advantage of the end of the gravity irrigation season, GMW is allowing the VFA and a contracted electro-fishing boat to enter the irrigation channel and undertake a catch-and-release program.

"A similar exercise was trialed in 2017 and proved very successful with more than 550 valuable native fish - mostly decent-size Murray Cod - relocated into a more natural habitat," VFA Chief Executive Officer Travis Dowling said.

Murray Cod and other valuable natives like Golden Perch and Blackfish have shown they can adapt to life in the East Goulburn Main Irrigation Channel and its connecting spur channels. However they can also be at risk when GMW conducts regular lowering of channels for de-silting and weed spray programs.

The fish likely originally came from Nagambie Lakes and unwittingly found their way into the irrigation network via Goulburn Weir.

Electro-fishing, often called the friendly way to fish, involves a boat equipped with electrodes which are lowered into the water to attract and stun fish. They can then be netted, placed in a holding tank and transported for release into lakes and rivers.

GMW Managing Director Charmaine Quick welcomed the joint effort with the VFA as a "win-win" for local communities and the environment not to mention the wayward fish.

"The electrofishing boat is being funded by the VFA while GMW is providing some manpower, transport and site safety management, so it's a true partnership of benefit to our local communities," she said.

"Importantly, the timing and locations of the electro-fishing exercise also means there is no impact on our irrigation customers."

Electrofishing is expected to take place over two weeks from late May with another two weeks possible later in the winter.

The VFA is working with local fishing clubs and primary schools in Benalla, Nathalia and Shepparton to take part in the fish releases expected to result from the partnership.

Murray Cod fast facts:

  • Murray Cod are the most long-lived freshwater native fish in Australia, reaching ages of 50 years or more
  • They are Australia's largest freshwater fish, regularly growing to more than 1m
  • A top predator in their habitat, a Murray Cod will eat almost anything that crosses its path other fish, yabbies, shrimp, waterfowl, small mammals and turtles

Related Articles

Two cars and undersize snapper hauls seized
The four men will be charged on summons with various offences Two cars and illegal hauls of 119 undersize snapper were seized by Fisheries Officers at Port Melbourne following the apprehension of four men on Monday night. Posted on 15 Feb
Charges and car seizure for abalone haul
Friday the 13th was a horror for a man from Highett Friday the 13th was a horror for a man from Highett who turned himself in to Fisheries Officers, had his vehicle, phone and dive equipment seized and will face court on several charges regarding the illegal take of abalone Posted on 23 Dec 2019
Abalone duo apprehended at Altona Beach
The daily bag limit for abalone is 5 per person Two men from Sunshine West are facing serious charges after being arrested by Fisheries Officers allegedly in possession of a commercial quantity of abalone. Posted on 12 Dec 2019
VFA's new podcast The Poddy Mullet
Tune in to the Victorian Fisheries Authority's new fortnightly podcast Recreational and commercial fishers, growers, seafood consumers and people who simply love our waterways can now tune in to the Victorian Fisheries Authority's (VFA) new fortnightly podcast, The Poddy Mullet. Posted on 27 Nov 2019
Rhyll boating facility upgrade
Event allows the community to see concept designs and provide feedback The concept design aims to deliver a safer boating facility that will provide a better launching experience, increased berthing spaces, a better fish cleaning facility, improved pedestrian safety, improved parking and traffic flow. Posted on 21 Nov 2019
FAD-tastic summer ahead for SW AUS fishers
The fish attracting devices (FADs) are back at Torquay Torquay's offshore artificial fishing reef welcomed the return of five fish aggregating devices (FADs) today with another two to be deployed off Lorne and Aireys Inlet in the weeks ahead. Posted on 21 Nov 2019
Aussie bass stockings get underway in Gippsland
The stocking of over 130,000 Australian bass into 11 lakes Recreational fishers in Gippsland are smiling from ear to ear thanks to the stocking of over 130,000 Australian bass into 11 lakes and rivers yesterday to further improve freshwater fishing opportunities in the years ahead. Posted on 21 Nov 2019
Mulloway movement mysteries revealed
Amazing secrets about the movement of mulloway Your recreational fishing licence fees are funding a two-year study by the Nature Glenelg Trust that is revealing amazing secrets about the movement of mulloway in and between our rivers, bays and beaches. Posted on 14 Nov 2019
Second Calamari boat seized at Queenscliff
Cracking down on illegal fishing for calamari A second boat has been seized by Fisheries Officers in less than a week as Queenscliff's sizzling calamari season tempts another man to over-indulge and take more than his daily bag limit. Posted on 7 Nov 2019
Boat seized for illegal Calamari catches
The daily bag limit is 10 per person Queenscliff's fantastic run of calamari has proved too tempting for a St Albans man who was apprehended on Monday night by Fisheries Officers, had his boat seized and will face court on several charges relating to exceeding the bag limit repeatedly. Posted on 1 Nov 2019
Marina Exchange FOOTER 1Raymarine AUS Element HV FOOTERNanni Diesel Australia 2020 - FOOTER