Murray cod Maccullochella peelii
Distribution: Murray cod, also referred to as cod or codfish, were once abundant throughout the Murray-Darling river system, but overfishing and environmental changes have drastically reduced its numbers. The species has been selectively stocked in other river systems in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, but has generally failed to establish itself in those areas. Murray cod generally prefer slow flowing, turbid water in streams and rivers, favouring deeper water around boulders, undercut banks, overhanging vegetation and logs. Small numbers are still present in the Nepean River (NSW) and Yarra River (VIC).
Size: Murray cod reach a maximum size of about 1.8 metres and 113kg.
Characteristics: Murray cod are a member of the family Percichthyidae and have a relatively large, elongate and deep body. They have small eyes and a short snout, which has a distinct concave profile. The mouth is large with a protruding lower jaw. Murray cod possess a cream to olive green colour with dark grey to greenish blotches over the head and body. The ventral surface (belly) is generally white in colour. These cod are voracious feeders and predators. Their diet consists of fish, crustaceans, water birds, frogs, turtles and terrestrial animals such as mice and snakes.
Confusing species - Similar to the Mary River cod, eastern cod and trout cod.
Fishing tips: Anglers troll and cast large lures or use baits such as yabbies, worms and freshwater mussels when fishing for Murray cod.