Pipeline proposal endangers trout cod comeback

THE attached photos are believed to be the first to document the capture of a trout cod since the endangered native species was restocked into the Macquarie River in western NSW.

This fish was caught and released by legendary fishing writer and native fish advocate Rod Harrison last week at a spot known as the Pump Hole. The trout cod was taken during a native fish survey conducted using lure fishing methods only. Healthy numbers of Murray cod were also encounterd during the survey.    

The pics were sent to us by keen inland angler and secretary of the Sofala Branch of the Central Acclimatisation Society (CAS) Ken Smith. Smith is also campaigning against the proposed construction of a pipeline that will pump water from the Macquarie River to back up the water supply to the township of Orange. (Related story HERE).

"The fish I believe is the first lure caught trout cod in the Upper Macquarie since the first release in November 2009 by Steve Thurston," Smith told Fisho via email. 

"Interestingly, Harro [Rod Harrison] helped in that release and now in 2012 has caught one of these fish on a small spinner bait.

"This is the third fish photographed since the release, the other two caught on bait, there are numerous other reports of trout cod being caught but some of these have been juvenile Murray cod but others I think are trout cod by the descriptions."

As Smith concludes, these photos and catch reports are evidence the trout cod recovery program in the Upper Macquarie is on the verge of being a spectacular success thanks to the NSW DPI and many others who have put in the hard work to make it happen.

The fate of this recovery program may now rest with the outcome of the controversial pipeline proposal.

Trout cod 2

The trout cod caught on the Macquarie River last week by Rod Harrison. Image supplied by Rod Harrison.

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