True Tales of the Trout Cod:
Macquarie River Catchment History

It is clear that a major loss of biodiversity in the upland and montane zones has transpired, with the extinction of two species that were once prolific in these areas being Trout cod and Macquarie perch. Blackfish are now scarce and while upland populations of Murray cod and Golden perch exist, they are supported by extensive stocking into Burrendong and Windamere Dams. Downstream of Burrendong Dam significant populations of Murray cod, Golden perch, Silver perch and Catfish still exist.

Notes on a Fishing Excursion to the Duckmaloi River.

Bathurst Free Press & Mining Journal, 24 December 1894 (article excerpt)

Arriving there I was at once struck with its appearnce [sic]. Our sporting friends can imagine a beautiful sheet of water with a depth of 5 to 16 feet, about 150 yards long. lined [sic] here and there with black wattle and nice little patches of green bank to fish off, with rocks bulging and a here and there; and about midway a large rock jutting out into midstream, leaving a nice cove with deep water close up. We made for this rock and at once prepared to try our luck. The “boss” was first in, and almost immediately he exclaimed “I’ve got him!” and landed a nice little cod. Without waiting to finish my floater I lost no time in getting my line out, but but [sic] although I put on a lively worm I failed to get any return. So leaving the others in possession I shouldered my rods and some bait and went for fresh fields and pastures new.

The Forge

Photo MAC7. ‘The Forge’, a major obstacle to fish movement on the Macquarie River between Bathurst and Hill End photographed c1890. By the 1920’s populations of larger native fish species had largely retreated to downstream of this barrier. Attempts to improve fish passage by blasting rock in 1922 proved unsuccessful.

Photo from the collection of Fred Howarth, courtesy of Jim Buchan.

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Learn more about the history of the Macquarie River catchment from the True Tales of the Trout Cod book chapter.