Freshwater Anchovy

Thryssa Scratchleyi
Freshwater Anchovy - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Thryssa Scratchleyi
Other names Freshwater Thryssa, New Guinea Thryssa
Size Up to 40 cm (15.7 in)
Weight Under a kilo (2.2 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution River channels, lagoons, small tributaries, brackish estuaries
Depth Range
Freshwater Anchovy Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Freshwater Anchovy is known as the largest of anchovy.
  • Smaller freshwater anchovies are often mistaken for a minnows.
  • These fish are omnivores and primarily feed on small crustaceans, fish, insects and some plant life.
  • No established lifespan, presumably between 3 and 5 years, like many others in its family.
  • They are an important food source in the food chain.
  • The main predators of anchovy include seabirds, larger predatory fish and marine mammals.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing

Freshwater anchovy also known as the Freshwater Thryssa are fairly common in Northern Territory and Queensland Rivers. It is thought to be the only anchovy restricted to brackish or freshwaters.

The Bareback has been spotted in parts of northern Australia and the Gulf of Papua.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Clupeiformes

Family: Engraulidae

Genus: Thryssa

Species: Thryssa scratchleyi

Conservation Status

There is little information on the conservation status of the Freshwater Anchovy. This species has not been evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Fish Taste Quality

Freshwater anchovy are a edible fish but not a targeted species for consumption.

Taste Rating: 1/5

How to catch
Freshwater Anchovy

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Floater Rig

Bait: Lures, Prawns

Technique: Slowly sink bait towards bottom

Popularity: Not targeted

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