Murray Cod | Mary River Cod

Maccullochella peelii | Maccullochella peelii mariensis

Murray Cod | Mary River Cod

Maccullochella peelii | Maccullochella peelii mariensis

Murray Cod is Australia’s largest freshwater fish and probably the most iconic, occurring in freshwaters of the Murray Darling river drainage. It can move hundreds of kilometres but is mostly sedentary and territorial. Once it formed the basis of an important commercial inland fishery which has now ceased, and it remains one of the most popular recreational species. Their eating qualities are excellent and are in high demand.  It is a prized angling species and aquaculture species that can grow to a length of 1.8m and weight of 113kg, and living nearly 50 years.  Murray cod have a closed season for anglers between 1st September - 1st December and there are strict size and bag limits. Murray cod are not suitable for small farm dams but are known to live and breed in large impoundments in the Murray Darling system.

Cod Hanwood Fish Hatchery
Cod Fingerlings Hanwood Fish Hatchery


Murray cod is a moderately elongated, deep bodied fish with a large mouth and small eyes.

This species is olive green to cream or yellow with a reticulated pattern of green markings on the back and sides. It is white or cream below.

Cod can grow to a length of 1.8m and weigh 113kg although is more commonly seen up to 70cm in length and under 10kg.

Cod are carnivorous and mainly eat other fish, crustaceans [yabbies and shrimp] and has been known also to eat ducks, turtles, mice, small birds and anything smaller than itself including smaller  

cod, can tolerate low temperatures and are heavily reliant upon snags and large woody debris. Individuals spend a large amount of their time in the vicinity of their “home snag”. They are usually a solitary predator, highly territorial and very aggressive.

Habitat & Distribution

Mary River Cod
Maccullochella peelii mariensis

Mary River Cod are found naturally in the Mary River system in South East Queensland. The natural population of Mary River cod is known to be low and have been declared endangered. Strict regulations apply to Mary River cod and they can only be taken from impoundments in South East Queensland where local stocking groups have stocked fingerlings under their Queensland Fisheries permit.

Mary River cod have the same description, habitat, angling and eating qualities as Murray cod.

Murray Cod   
Maccullochella peelii

The Murray cod is endemic to Australia, occurring in freshwaters of the Murray Darling river drainage in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. They inhabit a wide variety of habitats and can be found in clear upland streams to turbid lowland rivers, also thriving in stocked impoundments but likes cover especially submerged logs or snags. The Murray cod is sedentary and territorial and has a high distinct preference for shelter from high water velocities.


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