Comparative habitat use by large riverine fishes

John D. Koehn, Simon J. Nicol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


The present radio-tracking study compared adult daytime microhabitat use by three large Australian native freshwater fishes (Murray cod, Maccullochella peelii, trout cod, M. macquariensis, golden perch, Maquaria ambigua) and introduced carp, Cyprinus carpio, in the Murray River, south-eastern Australia. The paper describes habitat patches used by all species and quantifies differences among species. All species were strongly associated with structural woody habitat (>68% cover), deeper (>2.4m), slower water (<0.2ms-1) closer to the river bank, with variations in substrate. Murray cod and trout cod used deeper habitats (2.8m and 2.9m, respectively), with higher surface water velocities (0.37ms-1 and 0.49ms-1, respectively) and further from the bank than the habitats of golden perch (2.6m; 0.31ms-1) or carp (2.4 m; 0.20ms-1), the latter species using wood higher in the water column than did cod species. Trout cod used habitats furthest from the bank and carp those closest. These data provide support and direction for reintroduction of structural woody habitat patches for rehabilitation which, in general, should have >70% cover, be >1.5m high, located <15% of the river channel (width) closest to the bank, with surface water velocities of 0.3-0.6ms-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-174
Number of pages11
JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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