Gold Coast Fish
Fish on the Gold Coast are as varied as the landscape, easily accessible and an important part of the ecosystem. Fish tackle shops are a great source of information on where, what bait to use and how to catch the local fish.
Below is a short list of the fish within the Gold Coast area, for more extensive information click on the “reference” links.
The Barramundi feeds on crustaceans, molluscs, and smaller fishes (including its own species); juveniles feed on zooplankton. This catadromous species inhabits rivers and descends to estuaries and tidal flats to spawn. At the start of the monsoon, males migrate downriver to meet females, who lay very large numbers of eggs (multiple millions each). The adults do not guard the eggs or the fry, which require brackish water to develop. The species is sequentially hermaphroditic, most individuals maturing as males and becoming female after at least one spawning season; most of the larger specimens are therefore female.
The distinct ‘boof!’ noise which barramundi make when surface feeding can easily be recognised and echo up to long distances at quiet times like still nights.
The Sand Whiting is a schooling species whose movements are associated with a variety of factors including prey, lunar patterns and spawning movements; although there appears to be little consistency in its movements in relation to these factors. Studies on the species over the period of a year have shown the species does not change its local distribution over the course of a day, generally being of the same abundance during both night and day. Seasonal abundance due to spawning is variable, with studies conducted in Moreton Bay, Queensland finding the species recruits heavily to shallow waters and increase numbers during winter months, while studies in the Noosa River estuary have shown no difference in numbers recruited over the course of a season. Like other sillaginids, they have the ability to ‘burrow’ into the sand and remained hidden until a predator or seine net has passed by.
Dusky flathead are found in estuaries and coastal bays, from Cairns in Queensland to the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria. They occur over sand, mud, gravel and seagrass and can inhabit estuarine waters up to the tidal limit.
Oceanic flathead species (sand flathead, tiger flathead, bar-tailed flathead) are, as named, generally located more offshore than the dusky flathead, frequenting the sandy zones around and between coastal reefs, although bar-tailed flathead occur in many esturine environments
Fishermen catch flathead on a variety of baits and artificial lures all year round, but they are more commonly caught during summer. Only a handful of the many flathead species are regularly caught by fishermen. Most flathead species are considered excellent eating.
The Queensland lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (also known as the Australian lungfish, Burnett salmon, and barramunda) is the sole surviving member of the family Ceratodontidae and order Ceratodontiformes. It is one of only six extant lungfish species in the world. Endemic to Australia, the Ceratodontidae is an ancient family belonging to the subclass Sarcopterygii, or fleshy-finned fishes.
Fossil records of this group date back 380 million years, around the time when the higher vertebrate classes were beginning to evolve. Fossils of lungfish almost identical to this species have been uncovered in northern New South Wales, indicating that Neoceratodus has remained virtually unchanged for well over 100 million years, making it one of the oldest living vertebrate genera on the planet.
The rainbowfishes are a family of small, colourful, freshwater fish that are found in northern and eastern Australia.
Rainbowfish are usually less than 12 centimetres (4.7 in) in length, with some species measuring less than 6 centimetres (2.4 in). They live in a wide range of freshwater habitats, including rivers, lakes, and swamps.
Rainbowfish are popular aquarium fish
Rainbowfish populations in the wild have been severely affected by the aggressive introduced eastern mosquitofish.
Commonly called Mangrove Jack within Australia, the Mangrove red snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) is an explosive and powerful sport fish that is renowned for its superb eating and fighting qualities.
Coloration of the Mangrove Jack ranges from burnt orange, to copper, to bronze and dark reddish-brown, depending on its age and environment.
The Mangrove Jack is a highly regarded table fish with firm, sweet tasting, white flesh. While often a nuisance species when targeting the infamous Barramundi, many fisherman rate the eating qualities of the Jack higher than its more famous neighbour. In reef areas, Mangrove Jack are sometimes confused with red bass (Lutjanus bohar), a known carrier of Ciguatera toxin. They are however easily distinguishable by the large deep pit in front of the eyes of the red bass.