Notesthes robusta
Bullrout - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Notesthes robusta
Other names Freshwater Bullrout, Freshwater Stonefish, Kroki
Size Up to 35 cm (13.7 in)
Weight Under 1 kg (2.2 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Fresh, brackish & marine waters from lower rivers, streams to mangroves, estuaries & bays amongst rocky & muddy areas
Depth Range 0 - 5 m (16 ft)
Bullrout Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Bullrout are a euryhaline fish species living in fresh, salt and brackish waters found in southeastern Australia, including the Murray-Darling Basin.
  • They are often called “freshwater stonefish” due to their resemblance to the venomous marine stonefish found in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Bullrouts have a distinctive appearance, with a large flattened head, small eyes, and a thick, powerful body covered in rough scales.
  • They have a venomous spine on their dorsal fin that can cause severe pain and swelling if handled or stepped on.
  • They are ambush predators that feed on a variety of prey, including insects, crustaceans, and small fish. Bullrouts are known for their strong, muscular jaws that allow them to crush and consume their prey.
  • Estimates of lifespan are up to 7 years with a 4 year average.
  • The main predators of Bullrouts’ include larger fish species such as Murray cod, golden perch, and eels. Birds such as herons and cormorants have also been known to prey on bullrouts.
Species Interaction

Recreational & Commercial Fishing

Bullrouts are primarily targeted by recreational anglers, who fish for them as a sport fish. They are not generally considered a commercially valuable fish species due to their relatively small size and limited distribution. However, they are sometimes sold in local fish markets or used as bait for other fish species.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Scorpaeniformes

Family: Scorpaenidae

Genus: Notesthes

Species: Notesthes robusta

Conservation Status

The conservation status of bullrouts varies depending on the specific population and location. In general, they are considered a species of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to their relatively wide distribution and relatively stable populations in many parts of their range.

Fish Taste Quality

Bullrout are a edible fish but not a highly targeted species for consumption.

Taste Rating: 1/5

How to catch

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig

Bait: Lures, Prawns, Worms, Soft plastics, Live minnow

Technique: Keep bait on the bottom, Cast lures with a slow retrieve

Popularity: Not targeted

As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate

Temperament: Aggressive

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible: With caution

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

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