When Lake Argyle began to fill in 1971, the native fish that lived in the waterholes in the Ord River began to take advantage of the enormous volume of clean freshwater that was being created. Normally the Ord River would be a raging flood during the “Wet Season” (December to March) and then return to a chain of small waterholes during the “Dry Season” (April to November).
26 species of native fish lived in these waterholes and all of these species continue to thrive in the vast waters of Lake Argyle today.
Nobody accurately knows the statistics of the fish populations in Lake Argyle, but a number of studies have been undertaken over the years and the consensus is the Lake is a very healthy waterway supporting millions of fish and other freshwater creatures.
The most common visible varieties of fish found in Lake Argyle include:
Silver Cobbler (Shovel Nosed Catfish – Arius Midgelei) – these giant catfish are one of the best eating freshwater fish in Australia. These fish are caught commercially in Lake Argyle and the fillets sell in the southern markets for well over $20per kg! They can reach a length of almost 1.5 metres and can weigh up to 40kg!
Other common fish species you will find include:
- Bottle Nosed Catfish
- Sooty Grunter
- Archer Fish
- Long Tom (Crocodile Gar)
- Eel Tail Catfish
- Bony Herring