This project has been supported by funding from the NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Trust and NSW DPI Fisheries.

Figure 1 Bruce Downs with a Murray cod to be released into the river. Photo credit NSW DPI Fisheries.

Recreational and Aboriginal cultural fishers are urged to help DPI researchers and fisheries managers assess the stocking of native fish as a tool to help inland rivers recover after natural disasters. This project will trial the targeted stocking of larger than usual juvenile Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii) 350mm in length as part of a recovery response to fish kill events in the Murray-Darling system. These larger fish are thought to have a better chance of survival than the smaller fish typically stocked into our rivers.

How can you help?

The stocking sites will be in the Edward-Wakool system in south-western NSW and the Baaka (Darling) River between Bourke and Louth in western NSW. All fish will have external tags fitted. If you catch one please following the instructions and let fishery managers know. This will help our vital research.

What are we trying to find out?

The trial stocking of Murray cod will accompany planned mass stockings of fingerlings (30-40 mm), and DPI researchers will assess if these actions help to fast track the recovery of native fish in our rivers. The trial will account for risks associated with the increased occurrence and severity of natural disasters including floods, droughts and bushfires as a result of climate change. Initial research will focus on habitat use, movements and the survival of the larger juveniles.

This project is a collective and collaborative effort, working in partnership with communities, private landholders, scientists and government agencies – these contributions are gratefully acknowledged.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live, work and play. We also pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.