Australian Salmon

Arripis Trutta
Australian Salmon - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Arripis Trutta
Other names Bay Trout, Black Back, Blackback Salmon, Buck Salmon, Cocky Salmon, Colonial Salmon, East Australian Salmon, Kahawai, Newfish, Salmon Trout
Size Up to 1 m (3.2 ft)
Weight Up to 6 kg (13.2 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters including beaches, bays & estuaries
Depth Range 1 - 50 m (3 - 164 ft)
Australian Salmon Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Australian Salmon are primarily found along the east coast of Australia, including Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania. They inhabit estuaries, surf zones, and nearshore waters, with their distribution influenced by the East Australian Current.
  • They have a distinct torpedo-shaped body with a silvery coloration. They have a dark blue-green back that gradually fades to a lighter silver or white belly. Their body is streamlined and elongated, allowing them to swiftly navigate through the water.
  • Salmon are a migratory species, with some populations undertaking extensive coastal migrations. They often move inshore during the warmer months to feed in estuaries and surf zones, and then migrate offshore during the cooler months for spawning and overwintering.
  • Australian Salmon are piscivorous, meaning they feed on other fish. They have a voracious appetite and often form large schools to hunt small fish such as anchovies, pilchards, and whitebait. They are opportunistic feeders and can also consume crustaceans and cephalopods when available.
  • They are highly social fish and tend to form large schools, particularly during feeding activities. These schools can comprise hundreds or even thousands of individuals. Being part of a school provides them with safety in numbers and facilitates their hunting strategy.
  • Australian Salmon play a significant role in the ecosystem as both predator and prey. They are an important food source for larger predatory fish, such as sharks, tuna, and seabirds. Additionally, their eggs and larvae provide sustenance for various marine organisms.
  • Australian Salmon are iteroparous, which means they can breed multiple times throughout their lifespan. They typically spawn during the spring and summer months, with peak breeding activity occurring from September to February in southern Australia.
  • Estimates of lifespan are between 10 – 12 years and up to 20 years in favourable conditions.
Species Interaction

Recreational & Commercial Fishing

Australian Salmon are a highly targeted sports fish known for their aggressiveness and strong fight. They are commonly found in large schools along ocean beaches and coastal waters chasing schools of baitfish.

The Australian Salmon has a large range across eastern Australian from southern Queensland down to southern points of Tasmania.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Arripidae

Genus: Arripis

Species: Arripis trutta

Conservation Status

There is little information on the conservation status of the Australian Salmon. This species has not been evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
However, as its a fast growing species there are limited concerns of over fishing.

Fish Taste Quality

Australian Salmon are targeted more for sports fishing than eating. However, they are a healthy fish high in omega 3 fatty acids and popular in many types of dishes.

Taste Rating: 3/5

How to catch
Australian Salmon

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Patternoster Rig, Floater Rig, Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig

Bait: Fresh cut flesh baits, Herring, Lures, Pilchards, Squid, Soft plastics

Technique: Cast bait/jig/lure near schooling fish, Cast lures with a fast retrieve

Popularity: Highly targeted