Freshwater Herring

Potamalosa richmondia
Freshwater Herring - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Potamalosa richmondia
Other names Australian Freshwater Herring, Nepean Herring
Size Up to 32 cm (12.5 in)
Weight Under 1 kg (2.2 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Fresh, brackish & marine waters in rivers, estuaries & coastal areas
Depth Range 0 - 10 m (32 ft)
Freshwater Herring Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The freshwater herring is endemic to the eastern coast of Australia, from the Murray River in Victoria to the Mary River in Queensland.
  • It has a slender, elongated body, which is typically blue-grey in colour with a silver underbelly. The species is sexually dimorphic, meaning that males and females have different physical characteristics. Males are generally larger and have a more pronounced snout.
  • The Australian river herring feeds on small invertebrates and plankton, which it filters from the water using its gill rakers.
  • The species is known for its unique breeding behaviour, which involves a migratory spawning run up rivers and streams.
  • Their lifespan is estimated to be around 5-6 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational & Commercial Fishing

Freshwater Herring are commercially fished in some areas of Australia, particularly in estuarine environments where they are abundant. They are primarily caught using commercial fishing nets, including gill nets and seine nets. They are also a popular recreational fishing species with lots of novice fly fishers practicing their skills on them.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Clupeiformes

Family: Clupeidae

Genus: Potamalosa

Species: Potamalosa richmondia

Conservation Status

The Australian river herring is listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This means that the species is not considered to be at risk of extinction or facing significant threats to its population.

Fish Taste Quality

Freshwater herring are considered to be good table fare by many people. They have a mild, delicate flavour and firm, white flesh that is well-suited for grilling, baking, or frying.

Taste Rating: 3/5

How to catch
Freshwater Herring

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Floater Rig, Artificial Rig

Bait: Bread, Lures, Prawns, Worms, Flies

Technique: Slowly sink bait towards bottom, Cast bait/jig/lure near schooling fish

Popularity: Targeted

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