The Goulburn River

Photos and Text from David Royal

I haven't had a holiday in a while so I took a week off to go crayfishing. I recently purchased this caravan on the banks of the Goulburn River. Alot of people don't know that you can catch Murray crayfish fairly close to Melbourne Australia. Murray crayfish are in tributory streams to the Murray Darling Basin. The Goulburn River is one of these tributories. Murray crayfish can be caught in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria. They have the largest homerange of all of the spiny crayfish families.

This is the Goulburn River, about 50 metres from the door of the caravan. Australia has suffered a pretty severe drough over the last few years and fortunately for me, the Goulburn River runs all year round because it is used to carry water from Lake Eildon to the irrigation districts in the Goulburn Valley and beyond. It does have drawbacks, the temperature of the river is abnormally low which effects the native fish breeding, but that doesn't effect the Murray crayfish and introduced trout who actually prefer colder water.
The river can run quite fast at times, but this area I am fishing in is relatively deep, so you don't get the rapids effect. My boat is set up for craying and I can handle this boat on my own. It has a false floor which stops crayfish from going under the seats. I use a hooked piece of wire to snag the floats so that I can pull the nets on board.

It's great to be able to leave the boat in the water and fish around the clock. Crayfish are very active at night too. I don't recommend 'craying' solo at night, the river is cold and unforgiving.


Early morning on the Goulburn

The white object is a float which is attached to a net

A very pretty girl in the cray net

This is what makes it all worthwhile. This is the first crayfish I caught that week, a very attractive female. She was in berry so she went back in the river. In fact all the crayfish I caught went back in the river. I get pleasure from catching them not eating them. I'm sure Chris from Germany and Roger from Ohio will be itchin' to get down here to visit me as soon as they can. The caravan and boat are sitting there waiting for you.

PS: That invitation extends to Enrique, Ben and Tooru.

P.S.S Murray Crayfish fishing season is May 1 to August 31, each year.