Page Loading . . . . . Please wait.

Life of an Australian Salmon

Tommy Ruffs and Australian Salmon are endemic to the southern Australasian region. They are not related in any way to the true salmon or herring but are named after their resemblance to those northern hemisphere fish. They are closely related to each other, belonging to the family Arripidae along with the eastern Australian salmon which is virtually indistinguishable from the western species.

Other common names by which these fish are known are Sea Herring, Ruffies and as mentioned Tommy Ruff (Australian herring) and black-backed salmon, kahawai (New Zealand), Bay Trout and Salmon Trout (Australian Salmon).

Tommy Ruff

Australian Salmon

March - April

Tommy Ruff and Australian Salmon are believed to spawn primarily off the southwest corner of Australia. Aussie Salmon spawn during March to late April with Tommies spawning approximately two months later in late May/June.

May - June

The eggs and larvae of both species are thought to be transported eastward by the Leeuwin Current, a low salinity, tropical water mass generated in early winter which flows down the west coast of Australia before turning east toward the Great Australian Bight.

July - August

Many larvae settle on the lower west coast of West Australia but some are transported as far as South Australia and beyond, a considerable distance of about 2000km taking some three months. The juvenile salmon are the first to appear in South Australian waters, arriving around July-September.

September - October

Juvenile salmon generally make their appearance in September-October. Although they begin their journey only millimetres in length, by the time they arrive in South Australian "nursery" areas the juveniles have already grown to 5-8cm.


The juvenile fish then spend the next 6-12 months in these inshore areas before moving to more exposed coasts where they form large schools behind the surf zone.


After several years in South Australian waters during which Tommy Ruff can grow to 30cm in length and Aussie Salmon to 80cm, the life-cycle is completed when adult fish migrate back to Western Australia during the months November-January. These fish never return to South Australian waters.

 Fishing Tip :
Why not  contact about your Fishing Tip

Click for Adelaide, South Australia Forecast

DK's Fishing Toolbox

Moon Phases

Important Contacts
  Internet :
SA Tide Predictions

  Internet :
PIRSA Fisheries
  Internet :
  Internet :
Bureau of Meteorology

Our Sponsors


Custom Built Rods


Comments to: Copyright © 1996-2007 Disclaimer Page last modified: 7th of July 2002.