Two-spined blackfish


Two-spined blackfish

Common Name: Two-spined blackfish
Family: Gadopsidae
Scientific Name: Gadopsis bispinosus
(Sanger, 1984)
Origin: Native


Generally as for river blackfish, G. marmoratus described earlier, with the primary distinction being two, or rarely one or three spines in the dorsal fin. Often spotted (leopard-type) on the body, with white fin margins of the dorsal and anal fins.


Appears to be confined to streams in north-eastern Victoria, east from King Parrot Creek. Populations of river blackfish exist in the Grampians area (western Victoria) which are very similar to two-spined blackfish possessing down to 3 spines in the dorsal fin.


Cool, flowing streams with gravel substrate and good instream vegetation, fallen timber, debris and boulders, at higher altitudes.

Brief Biology

Similar to G. marmoratus described earlier.

Other Notes

Only recently identified as a distinct species. Both species of blackfish may be found living together in the same section of stream, though river blackfish are generally in the lower elevation, slower-flowing warmer streams.

Regulations (both species)

Recreational Fishing Licence requirements, and regulations affecting the taking of blackfish in Victoria, are provided in the Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide, available free from RFL sales agents and DEDJTR Offices and Information Centres.

Further Reading

  • A Guide to the Freshwater Fish of Victoria, Phillip Cadwallader & Gary Backhouse, Department of Conservation and Environment.
  • Australian Freshwater Fishes, John R. Merrick & Gunther E. Schmida.
  • Biological Information for Management of Native Freshwater Fish in Victoria, J D Koehn, W G O'Connor.