River Black Fish . Hughes Creek .19/3/2011

River Black Fish , Gadopsis marmoratus. Other common names :  Slippery, Slimy, Blackfish. There are large numbers of fingerling size fish in the Hughes Creek Catchment this season. River Black fish  are common in most  higher streams and creeks of the Strathbogie Ranges but they are less common in lower areas where only remnant populations exist . Black fish are particularly susceptible to siltation in their preferred upland streams . Agricultural practices lower in the catchment ( clearing of riparian areas ) have severely  restricted the distribution of this fish . Black fish need in-stream cover, rocks and woody debris providing cover and shelter from fast flowing water. Their eggs are laid on the bottom surface of logs at various levels in the water column.  Males guard the eggs.

Black fish eat other fish and aquatic insects. An ambush predator, they are secretive and shy, they lurk under undercut banks. Scrubworms are the best bait.

They can grow up to 600mm and 5.5kg . The most common size in our area is 300mm. They are reputed to be a superb eating fish with soft white flesh but need gentle treatment when cooking for best results. Poach or gently fry in butter. Do not over cook.  Smaller fish are better cooked whole.