All the latest news on our Mulloway Citizen Science projects

It’s been a busy few months for Mulloway anglers across the state, with many either tagging Mulloway or keeping frames for our research projects, both of which are funded by the Victorian Fisheries Authority through Recreational Fishing License Fees.

Mary Spencer was pretty stoked to catch her first Mulloway in May last year. The fish was caught from the Glenelg River, and was aged at 5.4 years.

Mary Spencer donated the frame from her first ever Mulloway! The fish was caught from the Glenelg River, and was aged at 5.4 years.

The biology research relies on anglers donating their Mulloway frames and is now in its final year. So far, we’ve had over 150 anglers involved in the program, who have collectively donated just under 750 Mulloway frames. These contributions have allowed us to learn more about the age, growth and reproduction of the species without having to further exploit our Mulloway stocks. You can read all about our latest research findings in the Research Angler Newsletter No. 4. One interesting finding to come out of our recent round of ageing, is that Mulloway from western Victorian estuaries appear to show slower annual growth in periods of low rainfall (and therefore flow). This is not uncommon and has been observed in other species such as Murray Cod and Golden Perch in the Murray River.

Otolith section of a Mulloway from the Glenelg River aged 5+ years, showing differences in seasonal growth, i.e. variable distances between bands 4 and 5.

Otolith sections of Mulloway from the Glenelg River aged 5+ years, showing differences in seasonal growth, i.e. variable distances between bands 4 and 5.

The second Mulloway project is investigating the movement patterns of Mulloway through the use of external tags. We currently have 58 anglers involved in the program, who have so far collectively tagged 133 Mulloway across the state. So far we have recorded nine recaptures, which have occurred throughout the Glenelg, Yarra and Hopkins rivers, as well as beaches off Port MacDonnell. The most interesting recapture to date has been a 59 cm Mulloway tagged off Piccaninnie Ponds beach that was recaptured 42 days later in the Glenelg River near Donovan’s Landing. The fish covered a distance of at least 15 km and showed no growth, presumably using energy for swimming rather than growing! You can read all about the project in the Tagging Newsletter No. 2.

Luke Gercovich is one of the dedicated anglers involved in our tagging project. Luke recently tagged this 81 cm Mulloway from the Hopkins River.

Luke Gercovich is one of the dedicated anglers involved in our tagging project. Luke recently tagged this 81 cm Mulloway from the Hopkins River.

We are still collecting Mulloway frames, so if you do decide to keep a fish for a feed, please consider donating the frame to us.

If you’d like to know more, please contact Lauren on 0439 034 390; .

Lauren Veale
Lauren Veale
lauren.veale@natureglenelg.org.au