State Library of South Australia logoDownstream, the River Murray in South Australia
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Did you know? : Porpoises in the Murray

In his reminiscences of growing up and working as a fisherman on the River Murray, Doug Hattam recalled how during a period of drought in 1926, the waters of the Murray became saline as far upstream as Murray Bridge. Before the barrages were built between 1935 and 1940, saltwater could reach as far upstream as 250 kilometres from the Murray Mouth, and river levels could fluctuate considerably. In 1926, two porpoises were found to be living in the salty water around the Tailem Bend area. The porpoises lived there for several months, until the freshwater returned. One of them died at Tailem Bend before it was able to return to the sea. It was common to refer to the creatures as 'porpoises', but it is now thought that they could have been a variety of pygmy whale.

Porpoise at Tailem Bend
View item details
Add To My SA Memory

Items 1 - 1 of 1



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on