The recent capture of a Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii) in a lake in Canning Vale sparked considerable interest in the media and the fishing community.
This was the second location where our researchers doing metropolitan pest fish surveys have captured Murray cod. There's no denying it’s a spectacular fish but it doesn’t belong in the lakes and rivers of Western Australia.
There is considerable risk to the environment from such a large, long-lived (up to 80 years) predatory species. In this instance, the lake where the Murray cod had been released is one of the rare places in the Perth metropolitan area with a population of southwest freshwater native pygmy perch.
Even worse, Murray cod don’t just eat fish and crustaceans; they also feed on turtles, waterbirds and even small mammals. Initial data suggests that the Murray cod recently captured may have contributed to an observed decline in the population of oblong turtles in the lake.
Murray cod are a significant threat to native WA species, particularly marron. To manage this risk, the Department relies on help from the public. We all have a responsibility to protect and preserve our delicate natural environment and you can help by: