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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 43(5)

Validation of the use of Otoliths to determine the ate and growth of Murray Cod, Maccullochella peelii (Mitchell) (Percichthyidae), in Lake Charlegrark, Western Victoria

GJ Gooley

Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 43(5) 1091 - 1102
Published: 1992


The age and growth of Murray cod, Maccullochella peelii, in Lake Charlegrark, western Victoria, were determined by using otoliths from fish sampled by beach-seine and gill-net, or caught by anglers, between August 1978 and August 1982. Annulus formation was validated up to 11 + years by several methods. Otoliths were examined from hatchery-bred fish of known age (up to 4+ years) that had been stocked into local farm ponds. Analysis of incremental growth for all fish sampled from the lake indicated that the mean edge-growth ratio was lowest, and the percentage of otoliths with an annulus at the edge was highest, in October. A nominal birth date of 1 October was designated for the population to enable calculation of the absolute age for each fish. Age-composition data for those fish taken by gill-net and by anglers (up to 21 + years) revealed modal progression of strong year classes (1970 to 1973 inclusive) during the sampling period. Length-frequency data for those fish taken by beach-seine (up to 3 + years) revealed modal progression, on a seasonal basis, of two relatively strong year classes (1978 and 1979) during the sampling period.

A von Bertalanffy growth curve was fitted to length and age data for all fish collected in the lake (no sex difference, P>O.05), and growth parameters were estimated for the population (L = 695 mm). This curve did not adequately describe the growth of fish older than 11 + years because the majority of sampled fish (98.3%) were aged 11 + years or younger. The length-weight relationship for the population was determined by using data from all fish collected in the lake (no sex difference, P>0.05).

Full text doi:10.1071/MF9921091

© CSIRO 1992

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