Australian Bass And Estuary Perch Closure In Place

Written by: The Hilltops Phoenix


Recreational fishers are reminded that the annual fishing closure for Australian Bass and Estuary Perch in all coastal rivers and estuaries in NSW commenced on Wednesday, May 1.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) acting Program Leader Fish Stocking & Enhancement Operations Matthew McLellan said during the winter months, these popular native sportfish species form large groups and migrate to parts of estuaries with the right salinity to trigger spawning.

“The zero-bag limit over this four-month period helps protect these native sportfish while they spawn over winter,” Mr McLellan said.

“This will ensure they can remain a popular catch with recreational fishers for many generations to come.

“It is important that fishers respect this closure from 1 May through to 31 August, as the spawning period is key to protecting breeding adults and supporting the successful recruitment of these iconic species.

“Any Australian Bass of Estuary Perch caught in estuaries and in rivers below dams during the closure must be returned to the water immediately with care.”

Australian Bass and Estuary Perch are both commercially protected species and, as such, commercial fishers are prohibited from retaining or selling Australian Bass and Estuary Perch.

Mr McLellan said that the zero-bag limit does not apply to Australian Bass and Estuary Perch caught in freshwater dams or in rivers above impoundments, as the fish do not breed in these areas.

“All fish in freshwater impoundments, like Glenbawn Dam and Glennies Creek Dam in the Hunter Valley, Tallowa and Brogo DAms in the southeast near Bega and Clarrie Hall and Toonumbar Dams in the northeast, are stocked fisheries,” Mr McLellan said.

“This means we physically replace fish stocks annually, with fingerlings bred in our hatcheries, therefore anglers may continue to fish for these species in these waters all year round.

“The zero-bag limit for these species does not close any waters to fishing and does not affect anglers fishing for other estuaries species, such as bream or flathead during the colder months.

“Our DPI Fisheries Officers will be out in full force during this time to ensure that these rules are being followed.”

The public is urged to contact the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536 or via the online report form if any suspected illegal activity is witnessed.

Visit for more information regarding the annual closure.

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