DPI Bag & Size Limits – NSW

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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 2014 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 bassClosed season in rivers and estuaries May – August incl. Only 1 over 35cm 2 in total *, 4 in possession
Estuary Perch Estuary perchClosed season in rivers and estuaries May – August incl.

Australian Salmon

Australian Salmon Australian salmon 5

Blue Drummer

Blue Drummer Bluefish 0 – release onlyLord Howe Marine Park 5


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 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 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 (Shortfin and longfin) Eels (Short and longfinned) (Southern Shortfin) 30cm(Longfin) 58cm (Southern Shortfin) 10(Longfin) 10


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 (eastern sea) Garfish 20


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


Hairtail Hairtail 10


Leatherjackets Leatherjackets 20 in total *


Luderick Luderick 27 cm 10. 20 in possession.


Mackerel (Spanish) Mackerel (Spanish) (Spanish) 75cm 5 in total *
Mackerel (Spotted) Mackerel (Spotted) (Spotted) 60cm

Mangrove Jack

Mangrove Jack Mangrove Jack 5


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


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


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 1

Samson & Amberjack

Samsonfish SamsonfishAmberjack 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 30 cm 10


Spearfish, Shortbill Shortbill spearfish 1


Swordfish Swordfish 1


Tailor Tailor 30 cm 10. 20 in possession.


Teraglin Teraglin 38 cm 5


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


Tuna (Albacore) albacore 90 cm or aboveLess 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 5


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 AbaloneNote: 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 cm10.5 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 AnchovyMaray (or Round Herring)Southern HerringAustralian Sardine (Pilchard)Blue Sprat (or Blue bait)Sandy Sprat (or Whitebait) A bag limit of 100 for each species.
Blue (Slimy) MackerelJack Mackerel and Yellowtail ScadGarfish (other than Eastern Sea Garfish)Hardyhead and Silverfish A bag limit of 50 for each species or species grouping.