Western Australian Salmon, Arripis truttaceus (Cuvier 1829)

Other Names: Australian Salmon, Bay Trout, Black Back, Blackback, Cockie Salmon, Cocky Salmon, Colonial Salmon, Jack Salmon, Jacky, Kahawais, Lumpy, Ocean Trout, Poundies, Salmon, Salmon Trout, Southern Australian Salmon, Trout, West Australian Salmon

A school of juvenile Western Australian Salmon, Arripis truttaceus, at Hallett Cove, South Australia. Source: Antony King / Marine Life Society of South Australia. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A dark bluish-green sportsfish, grading to silvery-white below, with bright yellow pectoral fins, and a blackish margin on the caudal fin and spinous portion of the dorsal fin. Juveniles have a series of vertical golden bars on the upper sides that break up into spots in slightly larger fish.

Adults form large schools along surf beaches and around rocky reefs.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Arripis truttaceus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/407

Western Australian Salmon, Arripis truttaceus (Cuvier 1829)

More Info


Endemic to southern Australia from off Greenwell Point, southern New South Wales, to Geraldton, Western Australia and Tasmania. Adults form large schools along surf beaches and rocky reefs, while juveniles inhabit shallow bays and estuaries. 


Dorsal fin IX, 15-16; Anal fin III, 10; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 16-18; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 49-56; Gill rakers 25-31.

Body streamlined, of moderate depth (27-32% SL), slightly elongate, little compressed, caudal peduncle rather narrow. Head moderately small (29-32% SL); eyes rather small (18-31% HL), prominent transparent adipose tissue along front and rear edges of each eye in large fish; preorbital bone with fine serrations along lower edge, almost smooth in large fish; mouth of moderate size (upper jaw length 41-45% HL), oblique, maxillae reaching below centre of eyes; teeth small, pointed, narrow band in each jaw.

Scales moderately small, very finely ctenoid, smooth to touch in large specimens, covering body and head except lower jaw, snout and above eyes; lateral line nearly straight. 

Single dorsal fin with long base and low notch between spinous and soft rayed portions, spinous portion noticeably higher than soft portion; anal fin small, about half length of soft portion of dorsal, located posteriorly; caudal fin deeply forked. Pectoral fins small. Pelvic fins of moderate size, arising below middle of pectoral fins, reaching half way to anus.


Dark bluish-green above, grading to silvery white below; juveniles with series of vertical golden bars on upper half of body breaking up into spots in slightly larger individuals; pectoral fins bright yellow, other fins clear, caudal and spinous portion of dorsal with blackish margin.


Carnivore - adults 


From late winter to January, adults congregate around the south-western corner of Western Australia. They spawn in the Cape Leeuwin to Busselton region from late autumn to early winter when the eastward flowing Leeuwin Current is strongest, transporting eggs and larvae to the southeast. The larvae settle out along the southern coast, and spend 3-4 four years in nursery grounds in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. They move to more exposed coastal areas as they grow, before migrating westwards back to the Hopetoun and Esperance regions of Western Australia.


The Western Australian Salmon is renowned for its fighting ability when taken on rod and reel. Although of commercial importance, the flesh of this fish is generally considered to be strongly flavoured, slightly oily, coarse and rather soft. As a result, it not highly valued as a food fish, and is used primarily for canning. 

Similar Species

Very similar to and difficult to distinguish from the Eastern Australian Salmon, Arripis truttaThe species differ in gill rakers counts - Eastern Australian Salmon have 33-40 on the first gill arch, vs about 25-31 in the Western Australian Salmon.

Species Citation

Centropristes truttaceus Cuvier 1829, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 3: 50. Type dlocality: Westernport, Victoria. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Western Australian Salmon, Arripis truttaceus (Cuvier 1829)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37344004

Depth:0-30 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish

Habitat:Pelagic in coastal waters

Max Size:100 cm TL; 10.5 kg


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