Australia's oldest fish caught in the Snowy River

Those present at the Snowy River Alliance annual general meeting recently were surprised to learn that the Snowy River held the record for the oldest freshwater fish in Australia.

Alliance member and guest speaker, Robert Caune told the meeting a Snowy River bass, caught in the Snowy River, was found to be 49 years old, older than the oldest recorded Murray Cod.

RIVER CARERS: The newly elected Snowy River Alliance committee on the banks of the Snowy River at Dalgety (Photo: Lisa Hogben)

RIVER CARERS: The newly elected Snowy River Alliance committee on the banks of the Snowy River at Dalgety (Photo: Lisa Hogben)

Mr Caune said the Snowy River Bass also known as Australian bass was a long-lived, slow growing species.

“I believe there are even older fish in the Snowy River.

“Mature adults migrate from freshwater to estuaries to spawn in early spring usually triggered by minor flooding or increased stream flow,” he said.

Chair of the Snowy River Alliance, Elena Guarracino said she was concerned to hear that the last known successful recruitment of Snowy River Bass was in 1985, when there was a sustained high water event.

“The Alliance is hopeful the newly formed Snowy Advisory Committee are focused on the need to ensure the environmental water releases will provide the right amount of water, at the right time to give fish like bass a chance to spawn and maintain its population.

“The meeting was told the bass cannot migrate up the river as they once did before the Jindabyne Dam was built, as there is not enough water for them to navigate the river.

“Anglers are unlikely to see Bass near Dalgety any time soon, unless the river receives the recommended and legislated minimum 29 per cent flow.

“This year only about 12 per cent will be released,” Ms Guarracino said.

The Snowy River Alliance held their Annual General Meeting at the Dalgety Hall on Sunday, November 25 with guest speakers Rob Caune from the Gippsland Angling Club and Steve Samuel president of the Monaro Acclimatisation Society.

The newly elected Snowy River Alliance committee is treasurer Richard Valler, vice chair Julie Pearson, chair Elena Guarracino, secretary, Brendan Diacono and committee members Vickii Wallace, Robert McGleish, Michelle Francis and Rowena Wallace.

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