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Counting fish

Counting fish

Peter Fairbrother

'The Goulburn Valley Angling Society received a grant to see if fish are recruiting on this stretch from below Nagambie to the junction of the Murray River. We're in the third year of our project. In the 1980s they did a similar study. Then, they were only getting about ten Murray cod and possibly five or six yellows. Now we're getting up to 100 cod and 40 or 50 yellowbelly, so it's a big difference compared to 20 years ago. We've even caught larvae of trout cod in various parts of the stream. Murray cod the same. As far as carp goes, they've plateaued out as far as we know.

We've done surveys elsewhere where you get a big peak and then it just drops back down. They seem to have peaked here and now they're just at a steady level where they seem to be assimilated to the conditions.'

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Audio and transcript

audio_w15 Listen to more from Peter about the electrofishing (MP3 255kb)
Duration: 1 minute, 4 seconds

There's three forms of electrofishing - backpack, boat-mounted, which we've done today, and bank-mounted. With the boat you have an anode which is the positive. It comes out on two booms from the boat. And then you have the cathode, which is the negative, or earth, so it completes the circuit. Where you can put in up to 1000 volts DC [the fish] they recover within two minutes of being shocked.

The Goulburn Valley Angling Association received a grant to see if fish are recruiting along the stream below Nagambie to the junction of the Murray River.

Compared, the actual fishing, ours were virtually the same, like 20 hours, in the 1980s. Then they were only getting around ten Murray cod and possibly five or six yellows, as we're now getting up to 100 cod and 40 or 50 yellowbelly, so it's a big difference compared to 20 years ago.

It just shows that there's actually something happening - actually, the actual river's on its way back.