The Murray Cod, or sometimes called cod, or goodoo, or green fish by others, is a carnivorous fish that can live for a very long time. Some other Murray Cods that have been caught and recorded was about 48 years old, and larger species are believed to have an even longer lifespan. The Murray Cod lives around Australia’s largest and most important river system, the Murray-Darling basin which is located in eastern Australia hence the name Murray Cod. Their species do not limit their habitat to specific places in the Murray-Darling Basin. They can live in any sort of freshwater location, ranging from large areas with slow flowing water, to cool, fast-flowing areas of the river, which is why the Murray Cod is the most dominant freshwater fish in Australia. The Murray Cod’s diet includes everything that is smaller than itself. Their diet includes a wide variety of aquatic animals like carp, goldfish, shrimp, crayfish, catfish, and perches to name a few. There have been reports of the Murray Cod to eat even non aquatic animals such as ducks and mice.
The Murray Cod plays an important role in the culture of the native Australian people especially those that live along the Murray River. According to the natives, they believed in a myth that a giant Murray Cod was responsible in creating the river system that they have today. The Murray Cod also plays an important role in the ecosystem as the apex predator or the specie at the top of the food chain. They are responsible for preventing other species from over populating an area. In an environmentalist point of view, protecting the natural habitat of the Murray Cod is very important to make sure that not only the Murray Cod but all other freshwater living organisms have a place to live. The Murray Cod is also a good source of food for the people of Australia. There are a lot of dishes and recipes that involve the Murray Cod as the main ingredient. Since the Murray Cod is a freshwater fish, preparing the fish is very important in order to remove the muddy taste on the meat. The Murray Cod can be cooked using a wide variety of methods like poaching, frying, roasting, and baking.
Murray Cod have also become popular as pets in aquariums. For some people, it is fun to watch the Murray Cod do their “work” as they are being fed. With that fact as well, other aquatic pets should not be kept in the same fish tank as the Murray Cod because these species are very territorial in nature and putting them in the same tank would only result in a mess. Most Australian native pet fishes can be cared for with the use of salt. According to studies, the salinity of the water greatly improves the health of any sick fish in the aquarium. Just as water salinity is important, the water’s pH level and quality should also be checked regularly. It is recommended that the water pH in the aquarium should range from 7.0 to 7.5 ideally. The Murray Cod also play a big role in sport fishing. People who fish for sport all have the same dreams and target and that is to catch and record the largest Murray Cod that they can snag in the murky waters of the Murray River. However catching your own giant fish is no walk in the park. These Murray Cods are very strong especially if they are in their own environment and they can offer a real challenge even to experts in sport fishing. The first step in catching a Murray Cod is in the bait that a fisher chooses. Another important skill to learn is the ability to find possible Murray Cod territories. Since Murray Cods are very territorial in nature, especially during the breeding seasons, any intruder (including the bait) will be attacked without hesitation if they get too close to the fish.
Australia has a very diverse and rich ecology. From the terrestrial wildlife to the exotic marine life, the various plants and animals in Australia never ceases to amaze not just the visitors and tourists but the local residents as well. When it comes to Australian marine life, one dominant freshwater fish is the Murray Cod. This fish, whose scientific name is Maccullochella peelii, is a very popular because it is the largest freshwater fish in Australia, and is also known as one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. The fish can be best described as a large, elongated, deep bodied fish that has small eyes and a depressed snout. For smaller species of Murray Cods, their jaws are equal in length but for the larger species, the lower jaw is protruding. The Murray Cod usually has a light green to dark green color on the back and the sides with overlapping heavy mottling usually dark green or black in color. The average size of an adult Murray Cod can reach up to 80 – 100 centimeters or 32 – 39 inches in length. But the longest Murray Cod ever to be caught and recorded was more than 180 centimeters or 6 feet in length and it weight about 250 lbs.
With the increase in the human population, of course, the demands for natural resources have also increased. This increased demand has taken its toll on nature and has affected every living organism part of the ecosystem. For the Murray Cod, their numbers have dramatically decreased, with over fishing as the main cause. Another cause for the decline in Murray Cod population is the river regulation. The construction of dams and the regulation of the water flow have greatly affected the natural cycle of the Murray-Darling Basin. These dams have also become huge walls for the Murray Cod’s patterns. Since one function of these dams is to regularly release cold water, the natural temperature of the river keeps on changing therefore resulting in a drop and causing a change in the breeding patterns of not only the Murray Cod but the breeding patterns of other aquatic animals as well.