There is no doubt barramundi are one of the most popular and well known of Australia's sport fish. All barramundi are born as males. They spend the early part of their lives in fresh water until they reach sexual maturity. They then migrate down stream to the mouth of the river system where they meet the females, most of which have been living in the sea. They spawn in the salt water then some of the males will follow the females out to sea and some will go back to the river. The males which go out to sea will change to females. Even barramundi which are unable to go out to sea will still change into females.
You should think very carefully before stocking your farm dam with barramundi. Their demand for food is difficult to meet. They need a good supply of live food, such as small fish, shrimp, crayfish etc. They do not forage for food or eat aquatic vegetation. One of the biggest problems will be when you want to add more fingerlings to your dam. Any barramundi remaining from earlier stockings will make a meal of the new fingerlings, of any species, which you introduce to you dam. Barramundi are generally not suitable for small dams.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you stock barramundi fingerlings into farm dams in Queensland, you MUST stock the correct genetic strain. There are 4 management strains of barramundi.
- East coast Cape York strain (Orford Bay to Bathurst Heads)
- Mid north-east coast strain (Cooktown to Burdekin River)
- Central east coast strain (Repulse Bay to Shoalwater Bay)
- South-east coast strain (Fitzroy River to Mary River)
It is a breach of the Queensland fisheries regulations to stock the incorrect strain. You should only purchase fingerlings from a hatchery operating within the fisheries regulations, and ask if the strain is the correct one for your district. Ausyfish Pty. Ltd. supply the "southern" strain.