Clarence River Cod

Maccullochella ikei
Clarence River Cod - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Maccullochella ikei
Other names East Coast Cod, Eastern Cod, Eastern Freshwater Cod, Estuary Cod
Size Up to 1 m (3.28 ft)
Weight Up to 48 kg (105 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Freshwater rivers & streams in deep pools over rocky bottoms & structure (wooden debris)
Depth Range 1 - 10 m (32 ft)
Clarence River Cod Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Clarence River Cod, also known as the Eastern Freshwater Cod, is a species of freshwater fish that is native to eastern Australia. Typically found in the upper reaches of rivers and streams, particularly in the Clarence River system in New South Wales.
  • They have a unique appearance, with a broad, flattened head, large mouth, and distinctive markings including dark blotches and stripes on its body.
  • The fish is a top predator in its ecosystem, feeding on a range of aquatic creatures including fish, crustaceans, and mollusks.
  • They are listed as a threatened species under the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act.
  • Clarence River Cod prefers clear, fast-flowing water with deep pools, submerged logs, and overhanging vegetation for shelter and spawning.
  • They are a long-lived species, with some individuals known to live for over 30 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational & Commercial Fishing

Recreational and commercial fishing, as well as habitat destruction, have had significant impacts on Clarence River Cod populations in Australia. Fishing pressure is now heavily regulated, with effective conservation strategies required to support healthy populations and maintain the species’ ecological and cultural importance.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Percichthyidae

Genus: Maccullochella

Species: Maccullochella ikei

Conservation Status

The Clarence River Cod is listed as a threatened species under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). It is also listed as an endangered species under the New South Wales Fisheries Management Act 1994.

Fish Taste Quality

Clarence River cod is considered to be a good table fish, however is listed as a threatened species and should not be consumed.

Taste Rating: no rating

How to catch
Clarence River Cod

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig

Bait: Lures, Prawns, Worms, Yabbies, Soft plastics, Live minnow, Insects, Flies

Technique: Keep bait close to structure, Cast lures with a slow retrieve, Cast lures close to structure

Popularity: Popular

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