Environment

Welcome to my crib: Murray cod’s native accommodation gets an upgrade

Fishing conservation charity OzFish and SA Water have partnered to create new shelter and breeding grounds for iconic Murray cod.

Images: Jonathon Bleakley.

In a first-of-its kind initiative for South Australia, fishing conservation charity OzFish Unlimited have partnered with SA Water to introduce native fish homes into the Warren Reservoir. 

The ‘Cod Lodges’ will provide shelter and potential breeding grounds for the iconic Murray cod, consisting of terracotta pots and limestone reef blocks that were installed in February 2021, in the Warren Reservoir near Williamstown. 

A true community effort, the limestone blocks that will form the fish dwellings were supplied and cleaned by local OzFish Barossa Chapter members and volunteers, with the help of local business Bennets Pottery Magill and Chamo’s Lures maker Luke Chamings. 

OzFish’s Senior Program Manager for South Australia, Dr Michael Sierp is excited about how this collaborative project can enhance and support the native fishery. 

“It’s a very exciting project as we’ve not done anything like this before in South Australian Resevoirs” he says, 

“Murray cod are highly territorial and aggressive fish, and will love these pots and blocks. They will use them to rest in during the day, ambushing anything interesting that swims past as part of their natural feeding behaviour”. 

Projects like the Cod Lodges are necessary after habitat destruction over the last few decades has caused wild cod numbers to decline drastically, with this new inland rehabilitation initiative helping the cod to thrive in the area”. 

With one of the biggest freshwater fish in the world on our doorstep the initiative will help protect Murray cod fish, ensuring future generations can experience catching and caring for these iconic fish. 

To find out more about the OzFish mission click here.

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