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Recreational fishing rules and regulations

Fishing equipment

In order to protect fish stock from overfishing, there are restrictions in place on the type of equipment you can use in fresh and tidal waters. It is also your responsibility to ensure a piece of equipment you are using is not prohibited for the species you are trying to catch, or the location you are using it in.

Equipment and restrictions for fresh and tidal waters

Piece of equipment

Location and restrictions

Breathing devices

Freshwater and tidal water

  • Apparatus (other than a snorkel) is not permitted when taking fish by spear, spear gun, hand or other means.

Canister trap

Freshwater

  • The trap must not exceed 60cm in length or 50cm in width, height or diameter.
  • It must open at one end.
  • Size of the mesh must be no more than 25mm (if not made of rigid material).
  • When the width, height or diameter is measured anywhere along the length of the trap, it must not exceed the diameter of the trap’s opening.

Cast nets

Tidal water

  • Must not exceed 3.7m from the point of rope attachment to the rest of the net, the net lead line or the bottom of the lowest pocket of the net.
  • Mesh size should not exceed 28mm.

Collapsible trap

Freshwater and tidal water (crab apparatus only)

  • The trap should be made of rigid material and have at least one collapsible side.

Crab pots and dillies

Tidal water

  • No more than four pots, dillies or a combination of both may be used per person.
  • There must not be more than four pots on a boat per person when on the water.
  • You must have an identification tag on your pot highlighting the owner’s surname and address.
  • All crab equipment must have a light coloured solid float attached when not tied to a fixed object. The float must not be less than 15cm in any dimension and also identify the owner’s name.
  • When the pot is tied to a fixed object a tag must be attached to a part of the rope (above the high water mark) that identifies the owner’s name.
  • A dilly for spanner crab fishing should be made of solid steel with a thickness of at least 6mm and not exceeding 1m in each dimension.

Dilly nets

Freshwater

  • The net must not have a diameter of more than 125cm and a mesh size of more than 25mm.

Fishing lines

Freshwater

  • No more than six fishing lines should be used alone or combined.
  • A fishing line should not be set as a cross-line.
  • Only one hook or artificial fly/lure can be attached to a line.
  • You can’t be more than 50m away from any of your fishing lines.

Tidal water

  • Up to three fishing lines are permitted consisting of a total of six hooks.
  • A fly or lure is considered equal to one hook.
  • A cross line, drum line, free-floating line or set line is not included as a fishing line.
  • You must be present with the line at all times.

Funnel traps

Freshwater

  • Maximum length of 70cm and width or height of 50cm.
  • A maximum of four entrances, with each measuring no more than 10cm in any dimension.
  • Trap entrance must be made of rigid material.
  • Size of the mesh must be no more than 25mm (if not made of rigid material).

Hand pumps

Tidal water

  • To be used on foreshores for collecting yabbies only.

Open-top pyramid trap

Freshwater

  • Must have a single, rigid top opening, with a minimum size of 15cm in all its dimensions, parallel to the base of the trap
  • Must have a mesh size of no more than 25mm
  • Must have a maximum base size of 60cm in length and width

Scoop or dip nets

Freshwater

  • Must not exceed 1m in any dimension.
  • Handle should be no longer than 2.5m.
  • Mesh size should not exceed 25mm.

Tidal water

  • Must not exceed 2m in any dimension.
  • Handle should be no longer than 2.5m.
  • Mesh size should be at least 25mm.
  • You can use a gaff or landing net to secure a line-caught fish.

Marking traps

Freshwater

  • A tag must be attached to the trap with the owner’s surname and address marked.
  • A light coloured solid float should be attached to the trap if it is not fixed to a stationery object above water level. The float must feature the owner’s first and surnames and be 15cm in each dimension.

Round traps

Freshwater

  • No longer than 70cm in diameter and 50cm in height.
  • A maximum of four entrances, with each measuring no more than 10cm in any dimension.
  • Size of the mesh must be no more than 25mm (if not made of rigid material).

Seine nets (bait or drag nets)

Tidal water

  • Must not exceed 16m in length and 3m in drop.
  • Mesh size should not exceed 28mm.
  • The net must not contain a bag, pocket or anything similar.
  • It must not be anchored, staked or fixed.
  • The net should not be out of the water when containing fish other than to remove and release them.
  • All regulated fish not intended to be taken should be released into deep enough water to allow escape.

Shell dredges

Tidal water

  • Mouth of the dredge must not exceed 60cm across
  • Teeth should be no longer than 7.5cm
  • Conditions should be checked further in the Fisheries Regulation 2008 

Spearfishing and spear guns

Freshwater and tidal water (selected locations only)

  • A power head is not permitted unless in defence against a shark.
  • You are not able to hunt barramundi between 6pm and 6am.

Tropical rock lobster fishing gear

Tidal water

  • Free-diving using a mask and snorkel and a rubber-powered spear or spear gun is the only form of breathing and equipment apparatus permitted.

Worm digging fork

Tidal water

  • To be used on foreshores for collecting worms only.
Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
24 April 2017
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