Macquarie Perch

Macquaria australasica
Macquarie Perch - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Macquaria australasica
Other names Black Bream, Black Perch, Gouldburn Bream, Macquaries, Mountain Perch, Murray Bream, Murray Perch, Silvereye, White Eye Perch
Size Up to 50 cm (19.6 in)
Weight Up to 3.5 kg (7.71 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Freshwater rivers, streams, lakes, dams & reservoirs in deeper rocky pools
Depth Range 0 - 10 m (32 ft)
Macquarie Perch Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Macquarie Perch is a freshwater fish species native to eastern Australia, including the Murray-Darling Basin.
  • They are named after Lachlan Macquarie, the Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821, who was a patron of natural history.
  • Macquarie Perch have a distinctive appearance, with a dark greenish-brown back, silvery sides, and a white belly. They also have a relatively large mouth and a small head compared to their body size.
  • They are a critically endangered species due to habitat loss, fragmentation, degradation, and the introduction of non-native fish species.
  • Macquarie Perch are typically found in slow-moving or still water, such as rivers, streams, and lakes.
  • They are opportunistic feeders, feeding on a variety of prey, including insects, crustaceans, molluscs, and small fish.
  • Macquarie Perch have a unique breeding behaviour in which males excavate nests in gravel or sand and defend themselves against other males.
  • The females lay their eggs in the nests, while the males guard them until they hatch.
  • Macquarie Perch can live for up to 15 years in the wild.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing

Recreational fishing for Macquarie Perch can be a rewarding experience, as they are an elusive and challenging fish to catch. Anglers typically use light to medium-weight fishing gear with live bait or lures to entice the fish. Catch-and-release practices are encouraged to help conserve the species, and it’s important to handle the fish gently and quickly, and release it back into the water unharmed.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Percichthyidae

Genus: Macquaria

Species: Macquaria australasica

Conservation Status

The conservation status of Macquarie Perch in Australia is listed as “Critically Endangered” under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also lists the species as “Critically Endangered” on its Red List of Threatened Species.

Fish Taste Quality

Macquarie Perch are an endangered species and illegal to eat. In addition, it is not recommended due to the potential accumulation of contaminants in their flesh.

Taste Rating: no rating

How to catch
Macquarie Perch

Catch Difficulty: Difficult

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig

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

Technique: Slowly sink bait towards bottom, Cast lures with a slow retrieve

Popularity: Targeted

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