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Movements of Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii) in a large Australian lowland river

Authors

  • J. D. Koehn,

    1. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg, Vic., Australia
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  • J. A. McKenzie,

    1. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg, Vic., Australia
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  • D. J. O’Mahony,

    1. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg, Vic., Australia
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  • S. J. Nicol,

    1. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg, Vic., Australia
    2. Oceanic Fisheries Programme, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia
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  • J. P. O’Connor,

    1. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg, Vic., Australia
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  • W. G. O’Connor

    1. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg, Vic., Australia
    2. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, East Melbourne, Vic., Australia
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J. D. Koehn, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, 123 Brown Street, Heidelberg, Vic. 3084, Australia; e-mail: john.koehn@dse.vic.gov.au

Abstract

Abstract –  This study of Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii) movements in a large lowland river in south-eastern Australia indicated that the species was not sedentary, but undertook complex movements that followed a seasonal pattern. While there were sedentary periods with limited home ranges and high site fidelity, Murray cod also under took larger movements for considerable portions of the year coinciding with its spawning schedule. This generally comprised movements (up to 130 km) from a home location in late winter and early spring to a new upstream position, followed by a rapid downstream migration typically back to the same river reach. Timing of movements was not synchronous amongst individuals and variation in the scale of movements was observed between individuals, fish size, original location and years.

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