Golden bass caught in NSW

JUST before Christmas, Fisho reader Daniel Brown caught a bass in the Hawkesbury system of NSW that was golden in colour. You can see the photos in the gallery above. “I’ve read up that they’re xanthochromic and usually hatchery fish and usually seen in dams? This was a wild bass out of a river. I’ve put the photos up in fish forums and showed local tackle shops but they have never heard of them wild in rivers?”

In response to Daniel’s questions, Fisho asked residenent expert Dr Ben Diggles for his opinion and received the following response:

“That is a xanthochromic fish, not an albino, as it still has a black eye pigment. Xanthochromism is a genetic condition where the fish lack certain colour pigments, making them look yellow. You tend to see more xanthochromic fish in hatcheries, because of the reduced predation. Yes, they also occur in the wild (e.g. golden drummer, saratoga and the like, and other golden bass like the attached pic), but their survival chances would be less than normal coloured fish as you have to assume they are easier for predators to see underwater.”

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