MORE than 37,000 Murray Cod fingerlings were today released into Lake Burley Griffin.
The fish, from the Uarah Fish Hatchery in Wagga Wagga, cost $20,000 and were paid for equally by the National Capital Authority and Canberra Fisherman’s Club, from funds raised at the Canberra Carp-Out.
The NCA stocks Lake Burley Griffin to improve the biodiversity of the lake, and provide a range of fishing opportunities for recreational anglers.
“Stocking Lake Burley Griffin with native predators, such as the Murray Cod, can play an important role in protecting threatened species, and may assist in controlling pests such as European Carp and Redfin,” NCA chief executive Gary Rake said.
“The stocking of Murray Cod into Lake Burley Griffin will improve the diversity of the fish population in the lake which can’t rely on natural spawning of these species.”
He said the choice of Murray Cod was made in consultation with ACT Territory and Municipal Services and local recreation fishing groups.
“Murray Cod were selected as they are native to local rivers, adapt well to our lakes, and are an excellent angling species,” he said.
“These 30-40mm fingerlings will reach the legal size limit of 60 centimetres in about five years, and have the potential to grow to more one metre long, and weigh over 20 kilograms.”
The Capital Region Fishing Alliance spokesperson Shane Jasprizza said the fish restocking will benefit the environment, the local economy and the region’s anglers.
“Stocking Lake Burley Griffin can help take angling pressure off the region’s fragile rivers and streams to protect vulnerable endangered species such as Trout Cod and Macquarie Perch,” he said.
“A recent study released by the Murray Darling Basin Recreational Fishing Council has shown anglers spend around $1.3billion annually in the Basin. Enhancing Canberra’s angling opportunities will see more people fishing locally instead of spending their money travelling outside the ACT.”