Publications - Fish tales

Talking Fish

Making connections with the rivers of the Murray Darling Basin

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s Talking Fish Project arose from recognition that different groups of people, including fishers, Aboriginal communities, tourists and landholders, have unique relationships with the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin and wanting to share their local knowledge and experience by sharing their stories. The series of twelve booklets, each focusing on a different river in the Murray-Darling Basin, describe the memories of local fishers about how the rivers, fish and fishing have changed.


Talking Fish: Making connections with the rivers of the Murray Darling Basin

Paroo                                                     Namoi                                 Katarapko

Condamine                                             Upper Murrumbidgee         Coorong and the Lower Lakes

Culgoa-Balonne                                      Murray

Upper Darling - Brewarrina to Bourke     Goulburn

Darling and the Great Anabranch            Ovens          

Reaching Beyond Demonstration Reaches

Six videos have been produced to provide an insight into the importance of local community involvement in helping restore native fish numbers. These videos document the experiences and achievements of different communities in restoring fish habitat. The amazing footage gives viewers a unique bird’s eye view of the Murray-Darling Basin, showing how our waterways interact with the broader landscape.

Community and Action = More Fish” is the take home message from each video.

Recreational fishers make fish happen!

Recreational fishers make fish happen!

Inspirational tales of everyday fishers making sure there will be fish their local fishing spots into the future.

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Minding their bass

Minding their bass

Bass Sydney love their bass. Their motto is ‘Look after the environment and the fish will look after themselves’. In this article, Alan shares some of their stories about improving bass habitat in the Sydney region. (By Alan Izzard)

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The Beauty of Bass

The Beauty of Bass

Follow one of Australia’s popular recreational catches – Australian bass, as it surfs over waterfalls, negotiates in-stream barriers and arrives safely at vegetation-lined holes and rocky pools to gorge on fallen insects. (By Charlotte Jenkins,  NSW Fishing Monthly, February 2009)

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In Cod's Country

In Cod's Country

The Murray cod is Australia’s largest true freshwater fish and estimated to have been around for 26million years. Find out how this mighty fish is facing the challenges of living in a modern river system. (By Anthony Townsend, NSW Fishing Monthly July 2010)

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Musing on the Murray

Musing on the Murray

The fate of a fat witchetty grub hangs in the balance as Australia’s largest freshwater fish – the Murray cod, hunts in the twisted limbs of fallen timber. Discover what the future holds for this beautiful majestic fish. (By Caitlin Howlett, Go Fishing, February 2008)

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Rings of River History

Rings of River History

The tragic tale of the death of an old Murray Cod led Simon Kaminskas to muse on its life from tiny fry to river giant. (Published in Fishing World, 2004)

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Creeks, Cod and Riparian Vegetation

Creeks, Cod and Riparian Vegetation

Simon Kaminskas takes a look at where Cod were once found and now are not and reflects on the value of riparian vegetation.

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Golden River Treasures

Golden River Treasures

Join the golden perch on its epic journey upstream to safe spawning grounds. Follow the perilous journey of their young as they travel back downriver and find out what these golden treasures need to survive and thrive. (By Charlotte Jenkins, NSW Fishing Monthly, April 2009)

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The Excellent But Ambiguous Golden Perch

Simon Kaminskas always wondered about how the Golden Perch came to get its scientific name, Macquaria ambigua. So he did some research and found out the story behind the name.

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Seagrass - a no mow zone!

Seagrass - a no mow zone!

To many it’s just grass or just a weed but to coastal fish it’s a place to shelter and feed. Find out why this sensitive ecosystem is in danger and how we can help to protect it. (By Jason Tickle, NSW Fishing Monthly, March 2009)

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The drain on the plain causes fish pain

The drain on the plain causes fish pain

Ever wondered what a floodgate was and why nearly every coastal creek in NSW has one? Find out what impact these structures have had on native fish and learn what local Councils, anglers and landholders are doing to remediate them. (By Charlotte Jenkins, NSW Fishing Monthly, May 2009)

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When the waters were clear

When the waters were clear

Descriptions of clear Murray-Darling rivers by the first explorers compiled by Simon Kaminskas.

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What Edward Eyre saw

These are extracts relating to native fish, river conditions and aboriginal fishing practices drawn from Edward John Eyre’s journals. They document what Eyre observed on the SA reaches of the Murray River (Morundie region) when it was still relatively pristine, and are fascinating reading. The time frame covered by these observations is September 1841 to December 1844. Preface by Simon Kaminskas.

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The lost world of Bluenose and Macca

The lost world of Bluenose and Macca

Something Simon Kaminskas came to realise, after years of reading historical extracts and scientific papers, is that there is a lost world that almost no one knows about, a world in which Trout Cod and Macquarie Perch abounded in the larger upland rivers and streams in the south-east corner of the Murray‑Darling Basin.

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