Mangrove Jack

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Red Bream

Lutjanus argentimaculatus

Not strictly catadromous as this species can complete its lifecycle in marine waters. Grows to a large size (up to 1.2 m & 16kg) in offshore marine (reef) environments, predominantly juveniles and sub adults are found in freshwater. Historically penetrated >100 km inland within the Burdekin basin. Colour and patterns vary from almost uniform colour to distinctive vertical stripes. Spawns off shore. Important recreational and commercial species. Present in the Black River basin, Ross River basin, Haughton River basin and Lower Burdekin Catchment (below Clare weir and throughout the Delta Distributaries). Expected to occur in Saltwater Creek, Molongle Creek, Elliot River, Euri Creek and Don River. Range has been reduced due to fish passage barriers within the lower Ross, Burdekin (Clare Weir) and Haughton River (Val Bird Weir) catchments.


Much of the information about fish species and their distribution in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region presented throughout this Wiki is based on the work of Pusey (2005). The Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (ACTFR) also provided access to their Northern Australian Fish (NAF) database (in press), which contains the most current available fish survey data for tropical Australia. Allan Webb also from ACTFR provided information of the expanding list of exotic fish species recorded from the immediate Townsville region principally the Ross River. Additional information about species distribution is the authors experience (principally Jim Tait) and knowledge of the region. Descriptions of species are based on Allen et. al. (2002) and Pusey et. al (2004) with additional detail and comments by the authors of the Fish Passage Study.

Fish illustrations and mapping by Jason Carter. Illustrations have been drawn from specimens and photographs and after other illustrations, in particular Swainston and Ruse (in Allen 1997) and Pusey (in Pusey et. al. 2004)


  • Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (in press) Northern Australia Fish (NAF) database.
  • Pusey, B. Kennard, M Arthington, A (2004) Freshwater Fishes of North-eastern Australia,CSIRO Publishing. (Available from

External Links

Mangrove Jack © NQ Dry Tropics
Mangrove Jack © NQ Dry Tropics
Mangrove Jack distribution
Mangrove Jack distribution

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