Forster, 1801 and Arripis truttacea (Cuvier, 1829);
ARRIPIDAE FAMILY; also called Australian salmon, black-back salmon, bay
trout, sallmon trout.
These species are found around New Zealand, Tasmania, and the southern portions
of Australia. They inhabit continental shelf waters including estuaries,
bays and inlets. They school in shallow, open coastal waters or form large
surface aggregations in deeper water.
They grow to at least 3 ft (1 m) and 33 lb (15 kg), resembling a cross between
a bluefish (tailor) and a southern yellowtail (called kingfish in Australia
and New Zealand). The body varies from blue green or greenish to silvery
with scattered dark gray, brown, or golden spots. Often mistaken for southern
yellowtail, it can be quickly and easily distinguished by its lack of a yellow
stripe along the body and its high first dorsal fin.
The name “Australian salmon” is something of a misnomer,
as it is in no way related to the true salmon or their relatives (Salmonidae).
They are highly prized by anglers and commercial fishermen. Large concentrations
of feeding birds often indicate the presence of kahawai, which go into surface
feeding frenzies similar to those of bluefish (tailor). They feed actively
on anchovies and other small fish and can be caught on these or on fast moving
lures. On light tackle, the kahawai is a very sporting catch and will leap
repeatedly. It is also ideally suited to fly fishing