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Barramundi
Barramundi

The barramundi is one of the most sought-after catches in Gladstone!

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Barramundi
Barramundi

Fish have strict size and bag limits - be sure to check your catch.

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Mangrove-Jack
Mangrove-Jack

Mangrove jack are ferocious fighters!

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Barramundi
Barramundi

The barramundi is one of the most sought-after catches in Gladstone!

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Factsheets

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Activities

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Hola to the Spanish mackerel!

 

Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson) are the biggest of the five species (or types) of mackerel found in Australian waters and are believed to be able to grow to up to 2.4 metres long (fork length, measured from the tip of the snout to the 'fork' of the tail rather than the end of the tail) and weigh more than 100 kilograms.

Check out this catch!

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You can spot a Spanish mackerel by their long, narrow bodies that are dark blue along the top (sometimes tending to green), silver towards the centre and underneath, with narrow dark blue or black bars running vertically along their body in a stripy pattern.

Learn more about this prized sportsfish, and get some fishing tips, from the Spanish mackerel fact sheet — arriba!

Spanish mackerel profile
Habitat
​Offshore and coastal reefs in water as shallow as 15 metres or as deep as 200 metres
Diet
Carnivore
Life span
Known to live for up to 20 years
Classification
Fish
Endangered status
Not threatened
Scientific name
Scomberomorus commerson

​Battling for a bite of barra!

 

Barramundi (Lates calcarifer) or 'barra' are one of Australia's iconic fish, prized by fishers of all ages for their taste, size and fighting spirit when hooked.

They belong to the sea perch family and have a scooped (or concave) forehead, large jaw, and rounded tail fin. Barramundi have two dorsal (or back) fins, the first made of hard spines and the second of webbed rays, as you can see in the picture below.

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They are found in fresh, brackish (a mix of salty and fresh) and saltwater, often depending on how old they are. Where barramundi live even influences the colour of their scales and fins! While they are mostly silver, their backs can vary from an olive-grey to grey-blue in colour, while their fins can vary from almost black to yellow. Learn more (including some fishing tips!) in our fact sheet!

Barramundi profile
Habitat
​Turbid (muddy) or clear water in rivers, creeks and mangrove estuaries
Diet
Carnivore
Life span
Known to live for up to 35 years
Classification
Fish
Endangered status
Not threatened
Scientific name
​Lates calcarifer

Find fun facts on Gladstone’s favourite catch​

Gladstone’s waters are full of fascinating fish that have amazing survival and predatory traits. Did you know that a barramundi will change from male to female at about five years of age? The barramundi don’t know this, but their sex change is a smart move as the Queensland Government has laws in place to protect large female barramundi from ending up on your dinner table.

Some other local fish species can get you back even after you’ve caught them. Large predatory offshore (or pelagic) fish like the Spanish mackerel (in the picture below) can be carriers of ciguatera which will cause a nasty case of food poisoning if you eat them, which would not be fun! 

Read more about this on the Spanish mackerel fact sheet so you don't get caught out!

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Make sure to check out the fact sheets on this page to find out more about the fish that anglers of all ages want to catch in the Gladstone area, as well as some simple ways you can help protect these important animals. Also get involved in the activities on this page which offer lots of educational (and only slightly fishy) fun for the whole family.

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Ringing in the ears?​

You can estimate the age of a Barramundi (and some other fish species) by counting the rings on their ear bones (called otoliths) as shown in the picture below. These are 'growth rings' similar to those of a tree! Check out Queensland Fisheries for more info.

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Under the light of a new moon…

 

Spanish mackerel peak spawning occurs in the high tides after new moons in October and November, while barramundi spawn nights following full and new moons between October and January.

No New Year's barra catch!

From 1 November to 1 February every year, you are not allowed to fish for barramundi to allow them to spawn, in order to support reproduction and a healthy population for the future.

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