A tagging/recapture program was carried out on large freshwater fish species in the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers to examine their growth. Internal body tags were found to be more reliable than opercular tags. Adequate recapture data for further analysis was only obtained for Golden Perch Macquaria ambigua. Monthly frequency of recapture appeared to follow angling pressure. The length/ weight relationship curves of recaptured fish at tagging and recapture are similar (y=1.49E-06x3393 and y= 7.32E-06x31374 respectively), supporting the use of the data for growth analysis. Von Bertalanffy growth curves [Lt=L∞(I-e-k(t-to))] were constructed, where Lt =length at time t; and for all fish recovered L∞ (asymptotic length) = 550.6 mm, k (growth parameter) =0.2458 and t0 (hypothetical age in years at zero length) = 0.1333. The parameters determined for Murrumbidgee females indicated a more rapid growth than males. Murray River fish grew more rapidly than Murrumbidgee fish. Values of L∞ and k based on the method of Gulland, and Garrod, were 575mm and 0.3985 respectively for all fish.
It is concluded that differences in the two river systems, for example in water temperature, flooding, breeding, fish stocking and angler pressure account for different growth rates.