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Perth fisherman catches rare mud crab in Swan River

A Perth fisherman has been left with a huge smile and satisfied tastebuds after catching a rare mud crab in the Swan River.

The usually north-west dwelling shellfish was surprising caught in a pot dropped off Elizabeth Quay on Tuesday.

Fisherman Daniel Curulli, of Cannington, said he heard rumours people caught mud crabs in Perth but could not believe his eyes when he saw his mum, Teresa, pulling in the pot.

“Mum was quite shocked, she didn’t know what to do,” he said.

“Dad and I were yelling at her to get it in the boat, we didn’t want it getting away.”

Daniel Curulli caught the mud crab off Elizabeth Quay in the Swan River.Daniel Curulli caught the mud crab off Elizabeth Quay in the Swan River.
Camera IconDaniel Curulli caught the mud crab off Elizabeth Quay in the Swan River.Picture: Facebook/Mob Fishing Australia

Mr Curulli posted a video of his catch, in the player window above, to social media and was inundated with comments from people.

The comments ranged from sceptics suggesting Mr Curulli bought the crab, to people who admitted they too had been lucky enough to catch the prized species in other South West locations, including Bunbury and in the Collie River.

Mr Curulli plans to hit the Swan River with his family again tomorrow and is hopeful he can bag another.

“Two in one week would be a shock,” he said.

His impressive catch measured about 20cm across the body and had a claw as thick as a “600ml coke bottle”, Mr Curulli said.

The Curulli family enjoyed chilli crab for dinner on Tuesday.The Curulli family enjoyed chilli crab for dinner on Tuesday.
Camera IconThe Curulli family enjoyed chilli crab for dinner on Tuesday.Picture: Daniel Curulli

The family also caught a handful of blue swimmer crabs and cooked the lot in an Italian and Asian-inspired chilli, garlic and tomato sauce.

“It was delicious and beautiful,” Mr Curulli said.

The species has been identified as a mud crab by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

The department’s senior crab research scientist Danielle Johnston told ABC Radio mud crabs, while rare, had been found in the Swan River.

She suspected it would have travelled from WA’s northern waters alone via the Leeuwin current.

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