Murray Cod are natives of the Murray Darling drainage basin of Australia. They are a predatory fish with excellent eating qualities. They can be captured on baits and lures but are not very common or easy to capture. They grow to over 100kgs in size and are the top of the food chain in our rivers. Due to their rarity, difficulty to capture, large size and great taste these are the ultimate challenge for most freshwater anglers in the Southern States of Australia.
Murray Cod are listed as a vulnerable species and State Government and private fish hatcheries produce millions of fingerlings each year for stocking in the wild and for aquaculture. All cod hatcheries in NSW are located west of the Great Divide as per NSW Fisheries regulations it is illegal to hatch cod on the eastern drainage. It is also illegal to stock ponds or dams on the Eastern Drainage with Cod; however, you can culture them in tanks.
Cod are an excellent species for aquaculture. They are quite easily weaned onto pellets and grow well on pellet diets. Cod fingerlings grown in tanks within a recirculation system will usually attain a size of 500 gram in 12 months. Cod are prized for both their colour and eating qualities so attract a good price at the markets. Demand for cod fingerlings is high within the aquaculture industry and there does always seem to be a shortage of fingerlings available. Cod are generally bred naturally in a farm dam type situation. Artificial breeding structures are usually placed into the dam for cod to use. Hollow logs and 44gallon drums are usually used with a liner attached to the inside of the hollow container. Cod breed inside the structure and their eggs become attached to the liner which is removed to hatchery tanks for the incubation and hatching of the juvenile codlings.
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