River Blackfish

Gadopsis marmoratus
River Blackfish - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Gadopsis marmoratus
Other names Blackfish, Duat, Freshwater Blackfish, Marbled River Cod, Tasmanian Blackfish
Size Up to 60 cm (23.6 in)
Weight Up to 5 kg (11 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Freshwater rivers, streams, reservoirs & lakes amongst wooden debris & other structure
Depth Range 0 - 10 m (33 ft)
River Blackfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The River Blackfish is a freshwater fish species found in southeastern Australia. Primarily found in Victoria, but also occur in New South Wales, Tasmania, and South Australia.
  • They have a dark, mottled coloration, with black or dark brown spots on their backs and sides, and a white belly.
  • River Blackfish are opportunistic feeders and will consume a variety of prey, including insects, crustaceans, and smaller fish.
  • The breeding season for River Blackfish occurs during spring and early summer.
  • The female lays eggs in nests constructed by the male in rocky or gravelly areas of the river. The male will guard the nest and protect the eggs until they hatch.
  • River Blackfish are considered a threatened species. They are protected by law under various conservation acts, such as the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.
  • They have a relatively long lifespan of up to 20 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing

Recreational fishing for River Blackfish is a popular activity in southeastern Australia, particularly in Victoria where the species is most commonly found. Catch limits and size restrictions are in place to prevent overfishing, and anglers are encouraged to use barbless hooks to minimise harm to the fish during catch and release.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Percichthyidae

Genus: Gadopsis

Species: Gadopsis marmoratus

Conservation Status

The conservation status of River Blackfish is classified as “Threatened” in southeastern Australia, where the species is found. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also lists the species as “Near Threatened” on a global scale.

Fish Taste Quality

River blackfish are a threatened species and it is not recommended to eat. In addition, the species can be susceptible to accumulation of environmental contaminants in their flesh, which can make them unsafe to eat.

Taste Rating: no rating

How to catch
River Blackfish

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig

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

Technique: Keep bait close to structure, Slowly sink bait towards bottom, Cast lures close to structure

Popularity: Popular

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