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.

Download a copy of the Mary River cod brochure here.

Access the Mary River cod “Respected and Protected” video by clicking on this link.

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.

Since 2014 the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee has managed the endangered Mary River Cod breeding program at the Hatchery in collaboration with representatives of Seqwater, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy, Noosa Council and Recreational Fish Stocking groups. The 2018 breeding season is now underway.  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.

From February 2019 the Hatchery will be closed as Seqwater commences the Lake Macdonald Dam Improvement Program (DIP).  The MRCCC is currently negotiating with Seqwater to establish a scaled down version of the breeding program in another location close to the Lake during the period of the DIP.

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