Sooty grunter

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Sooty grunter, Black Bream

Hephaestus fuliginosus

Uniform sooty black or brownish-grey overall. Grows to 45 cm, commonly to 25 cm. Wet season broadcast spawners in rocky riffle / rapid areas with demersal eggs. Popular recreational species, commonly stocked in impoundments and translocated to upper catchment areas beyond its historical range (Eungella Dam, Broken River, Running River). Known to occur throughout the Burdekin basin (Burdekin River (Upper and Lower), Bowen River, Broken River, Cape River, Fanning River, Keelbottom Creek, Star River and Running River. Also recorded in Haughton River and Barratta Creek. Not recorded form the southern tributaries of the upper Burdekin catchment or the turbid Belyando catchment.


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

Sooty grunter © NQ Dry Tropics Burdekin Region distribution Download PDF printable version of this page

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