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Cod no! Tail of the little one that got away

Date

Natalie Valenzuela

I will survive... This golden perch survived a stay in in the stomach of giant Murray Cod.

I will survive... This golden perch survived a stay in in the stomach of giant Murray Cod. Photo: Courtesy DSE

This tale might seem a little fishy and it certainly surprised a couple of researchers who pulled a huge cod from the Murray River.

Their 1.2-metre catch had made a catch of its own and promptly coughed up its breakfast - a dinner-plate-sized golden perch.

And the biggest surprise of all was that the smaller of the slippery pair was still alive.

“Occasionally we see a large Murray cod coughing up a small dead fish, but this perch was more than a foot long and alive,” said Matthew Jones, a fish ecologist with the Department of Sustainability's Arthur Rylah Institute.

“It was definitely a first for both of us and we just looked at each other in disbelief. It must have been breakfast for the big Murray Cod.”

The 40-centimetre golden perch was placed in a "live-well" with some of its luckier scaled pals by Dr Jones and his research partner John McKenzie, who were tagging fish near Mildura last week.

“Despite the ordeal of being eaten by a cod, shocked by the electrofisher and tagged, the lucky perch still swam away,” Dr Jones said. “It was definitely a first for both of us and we just looked at each other in disbelief."

Fin.

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