Four month closure for Australian Bass & Estuary Perch fishing

28 Apr 2021

two Estuary perch caught and held by person's hands

Anglers are reminded that the annual fishing closure for Australian Bass and Estuary Perch from all rivers and estuaries in NSW will commence on 1 May for the next four months.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Program Leader Stocking & Fisheries Enhancement Operations, Jim Harnwell, said the zero bag limit protects the fish species while they spawn over winter.

“During the winter months these popular native sport fish species form large groups and migrate to parts of estuaries with the right salinity to trigger spawning.

“This closure protects the fish species during this spawning period to ensure they can remain a popular catch with recreational fishers for many generations to come.”

Mr Harnwell has 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 particular areas.

“All fish in freshwater impoundments, like Glenbawn Dam and Glennies Creek Dam in the Hunter Valley, Brogo Dam near Bega and Clarrie Hall and Toonumbar Dams in the northeast, are stocked fisheries, meaning anglers may continue to fish for these species in these waters all year round,” he said.

However, any Australian Bass or Estuary Perch caught in rivers during the closure must be returned to the water immediately with the least possible harm to the fish.

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

Fisheries officers will target anglers illegally retaining Australian Bass or Estuary Perch during the four-month closure.

For more information regarding the annual closure, please visit the DPI’s website.

Media contact: (02) 6391 3686