Research finds black bass move between rivers


RESEARCHERS from James Cook University have made an interesting discovery while tagging and tracking movement of PNG black bass on the island of New Britain.

A 58 cm black bass was fitted with an acoustic tag, and according to researchers, didn’t stay put for long after release back into the Langa Langa River near Baia in West New Britain.

The fish was tagged in the middle tidal reaches of the eastern arm of the Langa Langa mangrove swamp on a Saturday morning, but could not be heard on our mobile hydrophone on subsequent visits to the site. Eleven days later it was detected on a receiver at the mouth of a small connecting creek in the nearby Pandi River, and near the mouth of the Pandi another two days later.

This fish appears to have moved between these rivers along an inland route via the connecting creek, covering over eight kilometres in 13 days. Researchers will confirm the path taken by this fish when they download the complete receiver array this month.

Understanding to what extent fish move between rivers is critical for determining the scale at which the fishery is managed. Do individual rivers need to be managed to ensure a viable sport fishery, or do larger regional areas need to cooperate to ensure healthy populations of big fish that move among rivers?

Find out more about the work carried out by James Cook University at

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