Better times ahead
  |  First Published: April 2011

It seems there could be light at the end of the tunnel, with a few cod and golden perch landed in several locations along the Murray River in recent weeks.

Heavy rains and fresh runoff have fired a small number of native fish at the mouths of several creeks and similar locations that have fresh water entering the main body of the river.

These are good signs after the recent blackwater events killed many fish along numerous sections of the Murray and some smaller tributaries.

Perhaps there are far more fish in the system than we thought, I guess only time will tell but fingers crossed there are enough to put a bend in the rod over coming months.

Most fish are being caught on lures and on a rising barometer.

The water is still a dark tannin colour and I suspect that the fish remain uncomfortable with the conditions.

With the cooling weather and a drop in water temperature the oxygen levels should increase and we could see our native fish start to feed a little more freely.

First light has been most productive with the bite tapering off as the temperature rises. With Autumn under way, cool mornings and balmy days should provide more comfortable conditions for the fish.

We are still running a high river so pockets out of the current will be the most productive areas to start your search.


With the Murray running a little quiet our attentions have been drawn to other areas, mainly the Kerang Lakes system.

Several of the lakes have fished well but none seems more popular or productive than Kangaroo Lake.

It’s common of golden perch and other fish to congregate below regulators and weirs as large volumes of water stream through. But in the case of Kangaroo Lake, the opposite is in effect, with the majority of fish have been holding and feeding on the lake side of the regulator.

Most anglers are far from deterred by this unusual phenomenon and have enjoyed the chance to catch a feed.

Over the years the Kerang Lake system has been extensively fished commercially and recreationally until commercial fishing finally ceased in 2003.

Since then a native fish stocking program has been put in place to improve opportunities for anglers.

And judging by the numbers of fish caught over the past month, the program has been a huge success.

More than 12,000 yearling Murray cod have been released into the lakes and fish of this size have a much higher survival rate. This has ensured that good numbers of cod have been spread throughout the system.

A further 300,000 golden perch fingerlings have also been stocked into the lakes, vastly increasing naturally occurring fish numbers.

The Kerang wetland system is a vibrant, healthy fishery that is sure to draw plenty of angling interest as it becomes better known.

So with the Murray River on the improve and plenty of opportunity in the Kerang Lakes, it looks like Autumn could be the turning point after a quiet Summer.

With some very sizable cod in the Kerang Lakes this area could be well worth a serious cod session as the larger fish start to move more freely in the system.

All up, it looks like things are on the improve and we are heading in the right direction to start catching a cod or two in the Murray and some of the lakes and other waterways. Bring on the cool weather.

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