Scientific name: Maccullochella peelii
The Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii) is a large Australian predatory freshwater fish of the Maccullochella genus and the Percichthyidae family. Although the species is a called cod in the vernacular, it is not related to the northern hemisphere marine cod (Gadus) species. The Murray cod is an important and charismatic part of Australia's vertebrate wildlife and is found in the Murray-Darling river system in Australia. The Murray cod is the largest exclusively freshwater fish in Australia, and one of the largest in the world.
Other common names: cod, greenfish and goodoo.
Murray cod populations have declined severely since European colonisation of Australia due to a number of causes including severe overfishing, river regulation and habitat degradation and are now a listed threatened species. However, they once inhabited almost the entire Murray-Darling basin, Australia's largest river system, in very great numbers.
A long-lived fish, adult Murray cod are carnivorous and mainly eat other fish. The species exhibits a high degree of parental care for their eggs, which are spawned in the spring and are generally laid in hollow logs or on other hard surfaces. Murray cod are a popular angling target and aquaculture species. Often available through the aquarium trade, they are also a popular aquarium species in Australia.
Murray cod are large fish, with adult fish regularly reaching 80–100 centimetres (32–39 in) in length in all but the very smallest waterways. Murray cod are capable of growing well over 1 metre (3 ft) in length and the largest on record was over 1.8 metres (6 ft) and approximately 113 kilograms (250 lb) in weight. Large breeding fish are rare in most wild populations today due to overfishing.