Mulloway research underway in Victoria
  |  First Published: May 2015

Despite their growing popularity, the movement behaviours and life history traits of mulloway remain relatively unknown. Funded by a Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries Recreational Fishing Grant, researchers at Nature Glenelg Trust are conducting research to learn more about the biology and population structures of mulloway in Victoria.

A recent tagging study by scientists at the Arthur Rylah Institute highlighted that larger mulloway can undergo migrations of up to 400km between the Glenelg River (in Victoria) and the mouth of the Murray River (in eastern SA). While detailed studies have been conducted on mulloway in eastern SA, there has been little recent research on the age structures of mulloway in Victoria.

Determining the age structures of a population is an important factor when assessing the biology and status of a fishery. Some people may be aware that fish are accurately aged by counting annually formed growth bands in their otoliths, otherwise known as ‘jewels’ or ‘fish ear bones’.

Research on the age structures, growth rates and reproductive characteristics of mulloway in Victoria is currently underway. This information, along with genetic investigations, will provide a clearer indication of the connectivity between populations in Victoria and eastern SA and ultimately improve species management to ensure a positive future for the mulloway recreational fishery.

A vital part of this project is the collection of biological information for mulloway. If you catch mulloway in the Glenelg River, Hopkins River or other estuarine or marine waters along the Victorian coastline you can be an active participant in this research project by providing samples.

To do this, fishers are being asked to keep the frames of each filleted fish they catch (ideally with guts and reproductive organs attached), and freeze in individual bags. Fishers will be asked to label bags with as much information as possible on the date/time/location/depth of capture, total fish weight (if available) and the contact name and number of the fisher.

At present, anglers can drop-off their fish frames at the Nelson Kiosk or Boat Hire in Nelson, Spot On Fishing Tackle in Mount Gambier, Mario’s Bait Supplies in Moolap and Compleat Angler in Portland or by personal collection from the Warrnambool region.

Fishers are encouraged to contact Lauren Veale at Nature Glenelg Trust via email --e-mail address hidden-- or phone 0439 034 390 for further information.

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