Tagged Murray cod reveals interesting growth history


PHILL Beasley landed this tagged Murray cod on the Murray River, below Yarrawonga with Fisheries Victoria revealing this fish has a very interesting growth history.

The fish was first tagged and released by Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) researchers back in May 2007 measuring 101.6cm.

It was captured again as part of annual fish surveys in May 2008. It was the same length and was captured in the same vicinity.

Electrofishing surveys captured it a third time in May 2010 at 101.9cm, again in the same area, taking the overall growth to 0.3cm over the space of three years.

And then recently it was caught a fourth time by Phill and his mate Brad in the same area and it had grown to 117cm, an overall growth of 15cm over seven years.

This “residential” pattern of behaviour is not uncommon in large Murray cod and has been observed this in other species too, such as trout cod and golden perch.

The growth spurt post 2010 is likely due to floods in that year and a subsequent boost in food availability.

Phill has caught several cod over a metre chasing them for the last 45 years, with this fish his personal best on a surface lure.

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