Commonly asked questions by recreational anglers regarding Class 1 noxious listing of redfin perch in NSW

Compliance with noxious listing of redfin perch from 1st July 2011

On 17 December 2010, NSW introduced further changes to the NSW Noxious Fish List as part of a consistent approach to the management of noxious fish throughout Australia.

The NSW Noxious Fish List now includes an additional 66 listings that have been agreed nationally as having a high-risk pest potential as part of the national Strategic Approach to the Management of Ornamental Fish in Australia.

In addition, the NSW government has listed redfin perch (Perca fluviatilis) as a Class 1 noxious fish.

A  six month advisory period was implemented in January 2011 and has now ceased;  compliance with all noxious fish listings, including redfin perch, is mandatory by law from 1st  July 2011.

Why list redfin perch as noxious?

  • Redfin perch (redfin) poses a significant threat to native species, particularly as it is a known carrier of Epizootic Haematopoietic Necrosis Virus (EHNV), which can have detrimental impacts upon native fish species.
  • Redfin are voracious predators which consume a wide variety of fish and invertebrates, including small native species such as pygmy perch, rainbowfish and carp gudgeon, and the eggs and fry of larger fish such as silver perch, golden perch, Murray cod and introduced trout. This predation may lead to reduced populations of these species and can degrade recreational fisheries for native species and trout.
  • Redfin are capable of rapidly populating waterways and in large numbers can out-compete most other fish species.
  • The noxious listing of redfin perch aims to prevent the intentional translocation and stocking of this pest to help prevent further spread and protect native species. 

What does this noxious listing of redfin perch mean?

Possession, selling or importing live Class 1 noxious fish species is banned in NSW and heavy penalties apply (up to $5,500 for an individual or $11,000 for a corporation). Fisheries Officers may also seize and destroy any live Class 1 noxious fish.

Can recreational anglers still target and take redfin perch? Is there a size and bag limit?

The noxious listing does not prevent anglers from targeting and catching redfin. There is no size or bag limit for redfin in NSW.

What should I do if I catch a redfin? Can I get fined for having redfin in my possession?

If you catch a redfin, we encourage that they are humanely dispatched immediately and utilised or disposed of in an appropriate manner. It is not an offence to release a redfin or any other noxious fish (either dead or alive) immediately if the angler wishes to do so, however it is preferred that they are not returned to the water live. It is not an offence to be in possession of a dead redfin which has been caught to take home.

However, it is illegal to be in possession of a live redfin in NSW (e.g. in a bucket, aquaria, keeper net, live well etc) and you can be fined. Anglers can only possess dead redfin. If anglers are retaining caught redfin the catch can only be stored dead (e.g. on ice in an esky).

Can I stock redfin in farm dams?

No - redfin is a noxious species in NSW and it is therefore illegal to possess or stock them in NSW.

What do I do if I have redfin in my farm dam?

If you have redfin in your farm dam you should take care to ensure that they do not escape into any other water body. If it is discovered that someone is illegally intentionally stocking redfin, this will be investigated by I&I NSW. Heavy penalties apply.

Can I use redfin for bait?

No - it is illegal to use live or dead redfin as bait in NSW. No live finfish is permitted to be used as bait in inland NSW waters or any fish or part of fish that is not native to the waters of NSW (other than dead carp).

Can I transfer redfin between waterways?

No - it is illegal to transfer any fish between waterways in NSW with out a permit.

Do these rules apply to the Murray River?

Yes - anglers are reminded that the whole of the Murray River and its lands to the top of the southern bank is managed by NSW as such NSW fishing rules apply in this area.

Do these rules apply to Lake Mulwala?

Yes - Lake Mulwala is managed in accordance with the NSW Fisheries Management Act 1994 and NSW fishing rules and noxious fish provisions apply.

Do these rules apply in Lake Hume?

No - Lake Hume is managed in accordance with the Victorian Fisheries Act 1995 and Victorian fishing rules apply.

Further information

If you have any other questions or would like further information please see www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/pests-diseases/freshwater-pests/ornamental-fish or contact the Aquatic Biosecurity Unit by email aquatic.pests@industry.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 4982 1232.