Snub-nosed garfish

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Arrhamphus sclerolepis

A long slender fish with a lower jaw protruding beyond the upper jaw but much reduced compared to other members of the garfish family. Silver in colour with olive-green tint on the upper body. Maximum size of 40 cm but commonly to 18 cm. Reproduces in Burdekin basin freshwaters though generally considered catadromous, may in fact be separate marine and freshwater breeding populations / subspecies. Distributed throughout the Black River basin, Ross River basin. Recorded in the Lower Burdekin catchment (both above and below Clare Weir). Present in the Haughton River and Barratta Creek and expected to occur in Alva Creek and Plantation Creek of the Haughton River basin, as well as Saltwater Creek, Monongle Creek, Elliot River, Euri Creek and Don River of the Don River basin.


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 Norther 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

Snub-nosed garfish Burdekin Region distribution

Burdekin Region distribution

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