Fisheries & Fish Industry

Canberra fishing improved by golden perch and Murray cod release in Lake Burley Griffin, Gungahlin Pond and Yerrabi Pond

Canberra fishing improved by golden perch and Murray cod release in Lake Burley Griffin, Gungahlin Pond and Yerrabi Pond

Bad news for the 62,845 native fingerlings released into lakes throughout Canberra on Wednesday – it’s a fish eat fish world.

More than 45,000 Murray cod were set loose in Lake Burley Griffin, Gungahlin Pond and Yerrabi Pond and 15,909 golden perch in Lake Tuggeranong in a bid to improve the chances of the ACT’s recreational fishermen.

The ACT environment department released 60,000 fingerlings into ACT ponds and lakes. Aquatic ecologist Mark Jekabsons. The ACT environment department released 60,000 fingerlings into ACT ponds and lakes. Aquatic ecologist Mark Jekabsons. Photo: Karleen Minney

An added bonus? In time, the weeks-old, five-centimetre cod fingerlings will grow large enough to eat carp, a species estimated to make up 50 per cent of the fish population in Lake Burley Griffin alone.

About half of Wednesday’s fingerlings are hoped to survive, but the rest are predicted to fall prey to larger fish and water birds.

The ACT environment department released 60,000 fingerlings into ACT ponds and lakes. The ACT environment department released 60,000 fingerlings into ACT ponds and lakes. Photo: Karleen Minney

The Canberra Fisherman’s Club contributed $5000 to the $25,000 project. The remainder was funded by the ACT government and the National Capital Authority, who provided $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.

“We’re just trying to keep people interested in fishing and provide better opportunities for native fish within the capital,” Canberra Fisherman’s Club treasurer Greg Davis said.

“[It provides] more opportunities to come out on a nice night, spend a nice evening walking around the lake and throw a few lures and catch a Murray cod.”

Government aquatic ecologist Mark Jekabsons said the species were unable to breed quickly enough to create a sustainable population on their own.

“They will breed in low numbers but if we want to have a resource for the anglers, we will need to supplement the breeding fish, so we supply these each year,” he said.

“It’s very low cost when you think about the benefit, both to recreational community and to the financial side of things.”

The fish were bought from Murray Darling Fisheries near Wagga Wagga.

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