Golden Perch

Macquaria ambigua

Golden Perch

Macquaria ambigua

Golden perch is an Australian native freshwater fish. They are commonly known as yellowbelly or goldens and have been a sort after angling and table fish for generations.

Queensland has three distinct stocks of golden perch. The Murray-Darling stock has also been introduced into South East Queensland impoundments and some streams. Other stocks are from the Fitzroy-Dawson system and the Lake Eyre system.

They have a diet of macroinvertebrates and fish. Golden perch will rise readily to artificial lures, yabbies, worms or small fish and are excellent sport and table fish. Just legal size is known for having the best eating qualities, but in impoundments and dams golden perch can have a slight muddy taste, so it’s recommended to skin, fillet and take a the fat off the fillets as this is where the muddy flavour can come from when cooked.

Freshwater Dam Fishing


Other Names: Murray Darling Golden Perch, Fitzroy Dawson Golden Perch

The golden perch is a medium sized, Australian native fish that grows rapidly and has been known to grow to a large size in stocked impoundments although mostly a medium size fish 30-40cm and 1-2kg in rivers.

They vary in colour depending on their habitat but adults are usually an olive green colour with a yellow belly. They can range in colour from dark brown, dark green, olive green, golden and cream.

They have a large mouth and rounded tail.

Habitat & Distribution

Murray Darling strain of golden perch are common throughout their natural distribution of the Murray Darling basin in all catchments, primarily rivers, large streams and floodplain wetlands, starting in Queensland through New South Wales and Victoria, finally reaching the sea in South Australia.

Fitzroy Dawson strain of golden perch is found in the eastward flowing Fitzroy river and the  Dawson river which is one of the main tributaries of the mighty Fitzroy river system which drains a large portion of Central Queensland and ends at the sea at Rockhampton.

Golden Perch have also been stocked into numerous impoundments [dams] in South East Queensland.

Golden perch prefer turbid, warmer slow moving rivers although have done extremely well in impoundments and small dams. They remain relatively stationary in the vicinity of snags and undercut banks and is most active in times of flow. Natural spawning occurs during flood conditions.


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