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Gold Coast natural environment

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Freshwater Catfish


Reference photo: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and
Forestry (2013), Freshwater catfish. Accessed 10 Jan 2013.

The Freshwater Catfish (Tandanus tandanus) also known as the eel-tailed catfish. They have a short dorsal fin with an eel-like tail that starts at about the middle of the body. The dorsal and pectoral fins both have large sharp spines.

The downturned mouth is preceded by four pairs of barbells, used for feeding. This species body colouration is mottled greenish-brown with a whitish belly with no scales. The maximum size is around 90 centimetres but this species are more commonly found around 45 centimetres.

This species is widely distributed throughout the Murray-Darling river system and east coast drainages. Freshwater Catfish prefer sand and gravel bottoms in slow moving streams, lakes and ponds. They are more abundant in lakes than in flowing waters.

Recreational fishing is permitted, but the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries limits catches to a combined total of five fish in the general Neosilurus, Tandanus and Neosiluroides families (e.g. black, Cooper Creek, eel-tailed, false spine, short-finned and Hyrtl’s tandan), and they must be at least 35 centimetres long.

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