True Tales of the Trout Cod and other Australian Native Fish

Few people today can envisage the bountiful fish life that once existed throughout Australia's Murray–Darling Basin. To get a true picture we have to look to the past, and Will Trueman has done just that with "True Tales of the Trout Cod".

This amazing collection of family stories and accounts of fish in different regions of the Basin, is combined with journal entries of notable explorers and settlers, rare and obscure historical references, newspaper articles and photographs from local families. Read more about True Tales of the Trout Cod.

A Triton of the Billabongs

This story appeared in the Argus, 27 March 1932

One year Lake Victoria went nearly dry, and among the tons of cod that perished all were big fish. In keeping them alive in a well boat until they could be sent to market Mr. Larsen found it necessary to padlock them in separate compartments according to size, for even there the large cod would swallow the little ones. Once he found that a cod of 117lb. caught in a drum net contained a smaller fish of 15lb.

He can speak very positively about it, because he weighed both fish. Here was a Triton of the billabongs, a 15lb. fish that anglers would have been well content to capture, reduced to the rank of a minnow in one voracious mouthful. No doubt at all, it seems, about the cod being also a cannibal, and no doubt that, with cod as the medium of fish culture, method is the essence of the undertaking.