Catching cod during their breeding season may result in them not-breeding - don't target cod during the closed season to help their stocks build up.



Look after our cod stocks - fish for the future




Don't catch Murray cod in the breeding season


Catching a Murray cod is one of the great pleasures of fishing the Macquarie….


Anglers need to respect the closed season from 1 September to the end of November…designed to protect them during the breeding season.


Even catching and releasing a breeding Murray Cod may cause the fish to miscarry or reabsorb their eggs, meaning less fish in the river in the future.


If you see people targeting Murray cod in the closed season call 1800 RIVERWATCH (1800 748 379), anonymously if you like, and we'll connect you with the relevant authorities. 


Record and report vehicle or boat registrations if possible.


Alternatively call the Fisheries hotline for this purpose 1800 043 536 or click on this link to report an incident on-line



Be aware!  On the Macquarie River there are also Trout cod (an endangered species) which can sometimes be tricky to distinguish from Murray cod. Follow this link to find out more.




Murray cod


Photograph: Michael Bell


As the largest freshwater fish in Australia, the Murray cod is an icon of the Murray-Darling Basin, important in Aboriginal mythology, and the most sought after native species by recreational anglers.  While listed nationally as a threatened species it can be caught in NSW but make sure you know the rules relating to this and follow them carefully.


While they can grow to over 100 kilograms and 1.8 metres in length, and live to over 40 years of age, specimens of this size are very rare these days. Even so, the larger specimens (over 5 kilos) are the best breeders, and should be returned to the water unharmed as soon as possible.


Murray cod prefer habitat with cover, especially fallen trees or snags, and their typical diet consists of smaller fish, yabbies and frogs. The species makes an upstream migration of up to 120 kilmetres to spawn (highlighting the importance of fishways on our weirs) and usually returns to the very same snag, year after year.


Although formerly common and widespread throughout most of the Basin, Murray cod is now patchily distributed and in much lower numbers. The main reasons for this include illegal and overfishing, loss of snags, weirs preventing migration, cold water discharged from the base of large dams and altered river flow patterns.