Gerry Cook Cod Hatchery, Cooroy

Mary River Cod Facts

Mary River Cod (Maccullochella mariensis)

Scientific Name: Maccullochella mariensis

Common Name: Mary River Cod

Status:           EPBC Act (1999): Endangered Distribution: Mary River and tributaries.

Habitat: Slow flowing freshwater streams in lowland areas and rocky upland streams.  Favours deep pools, overhanging vegetation, boulders, logs and undercut banks.

Description: Large, elongated fish, slightly concave head profile with protruding lower jaw. Golden- yellow to green or dark brown with black to dark green mottling.  Has been recorded at 23.5kg but usually less than 10kg.

Habits: Ambush predator.  Lays eggs on wood surfaces, preferably hollow logs.

Comments: endangered fish.  Declines in population due to loss of riparian vegetation, de-snagging of waterways and overfishing.

The Mary River Cod (Maccullochella mariensis) is an iconic species with a restricted distribution which is highly sought after as a recreational target species.  Cod are listed as endangered under the EPBC Act largely due to habitat degradation and threats from overfishing.

A key recovery action for Cod is the hatchery production and restocking of genetically diverse fingerlings across their natural distribution, and for the creation of recreational fisheries to take pressure off natural Mary River stocks which are a no-take species in the Mary River Catchment.

The Gerry Cook Fish Hatchery

The aim of the Gerry Cook Fish Hatchery’s Mary River cod breeding and restocking program is to re-establish self-sustaining populations of Cod within its historical range throughout the Mary River catchment and other river systems in south east Queensland.  The program also aims to mitigate the threat of recreational fishing to Cod recovery through provision of Cod fingerlings to Recreational Fishing Stocking Groups for water storage impoundments.

The Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee has taken over management of the Gerry Cook Hatchery in Collwood Rd where the breeding program for the endangered Mary River Cod is now underway for the 2017 season.  Fingerlings produced at the Hatchery will be released for conservation stocking in the Mary River Catchment at locations where there is good riparian habitat and water quality.  Fingerlings will also be released into certain impoundments outside the Mary River Catchment for recreational fish stocking.

The MRCCC are currently fund raising to support a professional operation at the Hatchery.  If you would like to help, please consider making a tax deductible donation to the Mary Catchment Public Fund.  Click here to access the donation page.

For more information, please call the MRCCCC on 07 5482 4766, email