GROWING to 40kg and 120cm the Brisbane River Cod was once wide spread throughout the Brisbane River catchment however due to removal of vegetation, siltation, over fishing, collapsed river banks from livestock and poisoning from early mining activities this once mighty species became extinct by the 1940s.

In 2019 the Somerset & Wivenhoe Fish Stocking Association in conjunction with the Queensland Government initiated a recovery project to return cod to the Brisbane River catchment using Mary River Cod to replace the now extinct Brisbane Cod; restocking began in November 2020.
Seed funding at the time was provided by the Somerset Regional Council with a grant of $15,000 to kick the project off.
Councillor Jason Wendt from Somerset Regional Council said “Council has been a strong supporter of this project since it started a few years ago and I was privileged to represent Council in releasing some of the first cod fingerlings (baby fish) back into our river”.
“Somerset Regional Council saw the benefits of such a project and supported it from the get go.
These Cod are apex predators, their re-introduction will help restore balance to our waterways and help to control introduced pest fish like tilapia and carp” Cr Wendt said.

In 2021, the project gathered momentum with Ipswich City Council and Scenic Rim Regional Council getting on board by investing in restocking cod fingerlings into our waterways.

In 2023 further assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements to restock more Cod back into the greater Brisbane Catchment.
This assistance is investing in further restocking of Mary River Cod to replace the extinct Brisbane River Cod and is also funding a catchment wide survey to determine the status of the cod restocked to date.
This survey has struck gold with initial findings that the first cod have been recorded in the catchment in over 80 years.

But don’t rush out to try catching one however. Mary River cod are endangered and are totally protected; if one is caught it must be released back into the water immediately.

The final report of the survey is due by early 2024.