Matthew W.
Eastern freshwater cod
Maccullochella ikei
Nickname: eastern cod
external image Eastern-freshwater-cod.jpg

The eastern freshwater cod is a fish. Their backs have a leopard like color. Their bellies are a white to a yellow color. They can grow to over 40 kilograms but usually are around 5. Their mouth contains pads with needle like teeth. This cod eats other fish, crustaceans (like the Atyidae shrimp), and other land animals (insects and small mammals). The cod sexually matures at age four to five. They spawn in early spring when the water temperature is around 16 degrees celsius. They lay their eggs on rocks. Egg counts in females can range from 10,000 to 100,000, according to age.

The eastern freshwater cod lives in the Clarence River System in Australia. They do not seasonally migrate. They live in the water.
Other species of cod have been accidently introduced to the river system and now compete with each other for the same food.

The eastern freshwater cod have become endangered because of:
  • Habitat loss
  • Sedimentation
  • Large debris removal: large snags are removed increasing water flow. This destroys spawing grounds for the cod.
  • Water pollution
  • Illegal fishing
  • Fishing tourism
The government of New South Wales from 1984-1989 initiated a restocking program. Now they are trying to restore the habitat, minimize the risk of newly introduced fish and fishing, and increase awareness in the community to gain support of the people. The most direct way to increase the population is to stock the rivers with them. Recovery depends on the future protection of the fish population. The eastern freshwater cod is a slow growing population so the regulation and protection is vital to make the species come back. The group behind the current recovery efforts is the New South Wales Government.