Bag Limits

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Recreational Fishing

Changes to recreational fishing rules commencing 3 November 2014

A total of 16 changes to the recreational fishing rules will apply to fishers from 3 November 2014. This includes a number of changes to bag limits, one size limit and other rule changes. Five of the changes are minor adjustments to streamline fishing rules, and will have little or no impact on recreational fishing activities. These changes will ensure the current rules reflect the recreational fishing community’s needs and expectations, while maintaining quality recreational fishing for the future. A discussion paper on recreational saltwater and freshwater fishing rules was released for public comment between May and August 2013. The NSW Government has listened to the feedback and issues raised as part of this comprehensive consultation process which attracted strong interest from fishers and resulted in 5,440 submissions on 43 proposals.

Recreational fishing rule changes (from 3 November 2014)

  Key changes from 3 November Previous rule
Saltwater ·         A daily bag limit of 10 for the following commonly caught species: Flathead (other than Dusky Flathead), Bream and Tarwhine, Tailor, Blue Swimmer Crab, Trevallies and Luderick. Possession limit to remain at 20 for the above species. Dusky Flathead daily bag limit remains at 10 with a possession limit of 10. ·         Daily bag limit of 20 Possession limit of 20.
·         Two crab traps and four witches hats/hoop/lift nets per person will be allowed. (Note that this change does not automatically permit crab traps to be used in areas where they were previously prohibited, see our recreational saltwater location closures page for more information about current location closures.) ·         One crab trap and five witches hats/hoop/lift nets permitted.
Freshwater ·         A maximum size limit of 75cm for Murray Cod to provide protection for large breeding fish. Catch and release of large cod will be permitted. A new minimum size limit of 55cm will apply. The taking of two Murray Cod per person during the closed season within Copeton Dam will be permitted. ·         Minimum size of 60cm for Murray Cod. No take of Murray Cod permitted in any waters during the closed season.
·         The spawning closure for Australian Bass and Estuary Perch to be extended to four months (May – August) to protect early migrating bass. Note this a zero bag limit closure and catch and release of these species will be permitted during the spawning closure. ·         Spawning closure for Australian Bass and Estuary Perch for three months (June-August.)
·         Permit Yabbies to be taken using five hoop nets per person in Lake Lyell, Lake Wallace and Googong Dam. ·         Up to five hoop nets per person in Lake Eucumbene and Lake Jindabyne only.
·         A strictly regulated pilot program to allow bowfishing for carp to be trialled in 2015 in key locations. To be closely monitored by NSW DPI. ·         Bowfishing not permitted on inland waters.
  Minor changes from 3 November Previous rule
Saltwater ·         The bag limit of small baitfish to increase to 100 per species. ·         Bag limit of bait fish: 50 individuals of a number of species permitted.
Freshwater ·         Permit fishers to retain yabbies caught in a shrimp trap and shrimp caught in a yabby trap. ·         Shrimp caught in yabby trap or yabbies caught in shrimp trap could not be retained.
·         Bag limit of trout in general inland waters to reduce to 5 five and possession limit to 10. ·         Bag limit in general inland waters is 10 and possession limit is 20.·         Bag limit in general trout streams and dams is 5 and possession limit is 10.
Saltwater and Freshwater ·         Set recreational nets and traps to be marked with the fisher’s initial, surname, year of birth and postcode ·         Full name and home address required on set recreational nets and traps.
·         Transhipping fish from one boat to another (except specified bait species) will not be permitted. ·         No specific legislation regarding transhipping.

An advisory period of three months from the commencement date of 3 November 2014 will apply to allow fishers time to adjust to the new rules. Updated advisory material will be available from your local tackle shop or fishing licence agent.

Finfish Bag and Size limits

Species Size limits or legal length (cm) Bag limit

Australian Bass & Estuary Perch

Australian Bass
Australian bass

Closed season in rivers and estuaries May – August incl.

Only 1 over 35cm 2 in total *, 4 in possession
Estuary Perch
Estuary perch

Closed season in rivers and estuaries May – August incl.

Australian Salmon

Australian Salmon
Australian salmon
5

Blue Drummer

Blue Drummer
Bluefish
0 – release only

Lord Howe Marine Park 5

Bonito

Bonito
Bonito
10

Bream & Tarwhine

Bream (Black/southern)
black/southern
25 cm 10 in total *. 20 in possession.
Bream (Yellowfin)
bream
25 cm
Tarwhine
Tarwhine
20 cm

Cobia

Cobia
Cobia
5

Deep-sea fish

Hapuku (Hapuka)
Harpuka
5 in total *, gemfish: only 2 and boat trip limit of 10
Banded Rockcod (Bar Cod)
barcod
Bass Groper
bass groper
Gemfish
gemfish
Blue-Eye Trevalla (Cod)
blue-eye cod

Dogfish

Dogfish
Dog Fish
Harrisson’s 0
Southern 0
All other 2 in total*

Mahi Mahi (Dolphinfish)

Mahi Mahi (Dolphinfish)
Dolphinfish
60 cm, only 1 over 110 cm 10

Eels

Eels (Shortfin and longfin)
Eels (Short and longfinned)
(Southern Shortfin) 30cm

(Longfin) 58cm

(Southern Shortfin) 10

(Longfin) 10

Flathead

Flathead (Dusky) common
Dusky flathead
36cm, only 1 over 70cm 10
Flathead (Bluespotted)
Flathead (sand)
33 cm 10 in total *. 20 in possession.
Flathead (Tiger)
Flathead (tiger)

Flounder & Sole

Flounders and Soles
Flounder
25cm (0 for Sole) 20 in total *

Garfish

Garfish (eastern sea)
Garfish
20

Groper

Groper (Blue, Brown, Red)
Blue groper
Red groper
30cm, only 1 over 60cm 2 in total*, by line only

Hairtail

Hairtail
Hairtail
10

Leatherjackets

Leatherjackets
Leatherjackets
20 in total *

Luderick

Luderick
Luderick
27 cm 10. 20 in possession.

Mackerel

Mackerel (Spanish)
Mackerel (Spanish)
(Spanish) 75cm

 

5 in total *
Mackerel (Spotted)
Mackerel (Spotted)
(Spotted) 60cm

Mangrove Jack

Mangrove Jack
Mangrove Jack
5

Marlin

Marlin (Striped)
Marlin (striped)
1 of each species
Marlin (Black)
Marlin (black)
Marlin (Blue)
Marlin (blue)

Morwong

Morwong, Grey (Rubberlip)
Rubberlip morwong
30cm 10
Morwong (Jackass)
Jackass morwong
30cm 10
Morwong (Red)
Morwong (Red)
30cm 5
Morwong (Banded)
Morwong banded
5

Moses Snapper

Moses Snapper (Moses Perch)
Moses perch
5

Mullet

Mullet
Mullet
Small (poddy) Under 15 cm 20 in total* for live bait only
Sea (bully) only 30 cm 20 in total*

Mulloway

Mulloway
Mulloway
70 cm 2

Pearl Perch

Pearl Perch
Pearl perch
30 cm 5

Eastern Red Scorpionfish (Red Rock Cod)

Eastern red Scorpionfish (Red Rock Cod)
Red rock cod (Scorpionfish)
5

Rock Blackfish (Black Drummer)

Rock Blackfish (Black Drummer)
Eastern rock blackfish
30 cm 10

Sailfish

Sailfish
Sailfish
1

Samson & Amberjack

Samsonfish
Samsonfish

Amberjack
Amberjack

5 in total*

Australian Sawtail

Australian Sawtail
Australian Sawtail
5

Sharks and rays

Shark (Wobbegong)
Wobbegong shark
0 for wobbegong (release only).
Shark (Mako)
mako shark
5 in total*. Only 1 tiger, mako, hammerhead # or whaler/ blue shark.

# Only smooth hammerheads may be taken. Great and scalloped hammerheads are protected species in NSW and must be released immediately with minimal harm.

Shark (School)
School shark
91 cm
Shark (Whaler)
 Whaler

Snapper

Snapper
Snapper
30 cm 10

Spearfish

Spearfish, Shortbill
Shortbill spearfish
1

Swordfish

Swordfish
Swordfish
1

Tailor

Tailor
Tailor
30 cm 10. 20 in possession.

Teraglin

Teraglin
Teraglin
38 cm 5

Trevallies

Trevallies
Trevally
(silver trevally only) 30 cm 10 in total*. 20 in possession.

Tuna

Tuna (Albacore)
albacore
90 cm or above

Less than 90 cm

2 in total *

5 in total* (only 1 Southern Bluefin Tuna)

Tuna (Big-Eye)
big-eye
Tuna (Longtail)
Longtail tuna
Tuna (Southern bluefin)
southern bluefin
Tuna (Yellowfin)
Yellowfin tuna

Wahoo

Wahoo
Wahoo
5

Whiting

Whiting
Sand whiting
(sand only) 27 cm 20 in total*

Yellowtail Kingfish

Yellowtail Kingfish
Kingfish
65 cm 5

* Bag limit comprised of any single species or a combination of listed grouped species.

Invertebrates Bag and Size limits

Species Size limits or legal length (cm) Bag limit
Abalone
Abalone

Note: Between Port Stephens and Wreck Bay Beach (Jervis Bay) Abalone can only be taken on weekends and adjacent NSW public holidays. See closure notice for GPS coordinates.

11.7 cm 2
Balmain Bug +
Beach worm
10 cm 20
Beach Worms
Beach worm
20 whole or part in total*
All other worms
All other worms
100 in total*
Cockles, Mussels and Pipis
Cockles
Pipis for bait only – do not take
beyond 50m of high-tide mark.
50 in total *
Crab (Blue Swimmer) +
Blue swimmer crab
6 cm 10. 20 in possession.
Mud Crab +
Mud Crab
8.5 cm 5
Crab (Spanner) +
Crab (spanner)
9.3 cm 10
Crab (Soldier) +
Crab (Soldier)
100 in total *
All other crabs +
All other crabs
10 in total *
Cunjevoi
Cunjevoi
20 in total *
Lobster (Eastern Rock) +
Lobster
Min. 10.4cm, none over 18cm 2 in total in any combination
Lobster (Southern Rock) (male) +

Lobster (Southern Rock) (female) +

11 cm

10.5 cm

Tropical Rock Lobster (Painted and Ornate) + 2 in total *
Slipper Lobster (Flat) + 2
Octopus
Octopus
10 in total *
Oysters (Sydney Rock, Pacific, Native)
Oyster
50 in total *
Prawns
Prawn
10 litres in total *
Saltwater Nippers
King scallop
100 in total *
Scallops
King scallop
50 in total *
Sea Urchins
Sea urchin
10 in total *
Squid & Cuttlefish
Squid
20 in total *
Turban Snails
Turban shell
(Sydney, Military) 7.5 cm

(All other molluscs) –

20 in total*

20 in total* including turban shells

* Bag limit comprised of any single species or a combination of listed grouped species.

+ All lobsters, crabs, bugs and crayfish carrying eggs must be returned to the water.

Baitfish bag limits (excluding charter boat operators)

Species Bag limit
Australian Anchovy

Maray (or Round Herring)

Southern Herring

Australian Sardine (Pilchard)

Blue Sprat (or Blue bait)

Sandy Sprat (or Whitebait)

A bag limit of 100 for each species.
Blue (Slimy) Mackerel

Jack Mackerel and Yellowtail Scad

Garfish (other than Eastern Sea Garfish)

Hardyhead and Silverfish

A bag limit of 50 for each species or species grouping.