Barramundi v Murray cod – an angler’s view in 1863

Sydney Morning Herald – 8 October 1863.


To the Editor of the Herald

SIR, – I have been much pleased to see, by articles which have from time to time appeared in your paper, that persons are taking the trouble to introduce that valuable fish the Murray cod into the eastern waters of the colony, and have been much interested by the circumstance of this fish being found in the Clarence River alone of all the rivers flowing into the sea on the eastern coast. Permit me to remind gentlemen interested in this pursuit that there is another Australian river fish, far superior to the cod in many respects, of which very little is known in New South Wales. I mean that beautiful fish the “barramundi” which is   found in great numbers in the Fitzroy and its tributaries –   the Dawson, the Mackenzie – and in other rivers in Queensland. This fish is very handsome, grows to a large size, often reaching 40 lbs, is a good table fish – in my opinion quite equal to the cod. As a sportsman’s fish, it is far superior to the cod being almost as strong and lively in the water when hooked as a salmon, while the cod is very dull and sluggish in this way. In fact, I know of no fish except the salmon which would afford better sport to the angler than the barramundi.

Trusting that gentlemen who take an interest in pisciculture will, while they are about it, turn their attention to propogating this very fine fish. I remain, Sir, yours obediently,

AN ANGLER. Lachlan River, 1st October.

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