ACT News


Hook, line and swimmers...

Joshua Campbell was fishing at the weekend and tells us, with pictures to prove it, ''I caught this Murray Cod on Sunday afternoon at Yerrabi Pond [at Gungahlin]. It was 11kg (24 pounds) and was 80 cm long.''

What made this adventure a little out of the ordinary is that he had to go swimming in the pond's cod-infested waters to bring the behemoth to land because ''I was only using 6-8 pound line'' and the cod had got among the rocks.

In the pictures, his mate Ben Broadhurst is assisting.

This reminds us that when John Gale was singing the Canberra site's praises vis a vis Dalgety's in his great 1907 speech (later captured in a propaganda booklet The Federal Capital - Dalgety or Canberra Which?) the Murray Cod got a guernsey in his speech.

While carrying on about how superior the Canberra site was as a place for hunting and fishing (he boasted that here we had an abundance of wombats and lyre-birds to kill) he argued that while it was true the Snowy River contained a few trout our own local waters teemed with ''the princely Murray Cod''.

These days the cod in Canberra waters are all plonked in there by governments but it may be that once upon a time they were naturally abundant here.

In one of his histories, Gale (1831-1929) reports how in the 1850s the squire Terence Aubrey Murray had the bright idea of making the uselessly fish-bereft Lake George useful to fishers by stocking it with Murray Cod.

For this he used cod taken from the cod-infested Molonglo that ran through his property at Yarralumla.


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