New yabby net give-away

3 Mar 2021

Fisheries officer holding up an opera style trap

The NSW Government is giving away 5,000 yabby nets to recreational fishers as part of a comprehensive program to phase out the use of enclosed yabby traps in NSW from 30 April 2021.

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said the government has been transitioning to open-top nets for some time, due to the risk that enclosed yabby traps can pose to native wildlife.

“We know that ‘opera house’ style yabby traps pose a risk to air breathing animals such as platypus, water rats and turtles, which can inadvertently get caught in traps,” Mr Marshall said.

“Open top nets allow mammals to exit through the top, unlike opera house traps which only have openings on the sides.

“By moving away from ‘opera’ style traps to open-top yabby nets, we will allow both our fishing resources and native animal populations to flourish.”

Mr Marshall said the changes are part of a National process, with ‘opera’ style traps having already been phased out in the ACT, Victoria and NSW waters where platypus are mostly abundant, including east of the Newell Highway as well as parts of the Edward, Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers.

“These changes have been implemented following consultation with and support from the NSW Recreational Fishing Advisory Council and we want to give fishers has much time as possible to make sure that they’re aware of the new rules and ensure they have the right equipment,” Mr Marshall said.

“By transitioning to using open top nets, fishers can keep fishing, while also continue to do their part to protect our wildlife and ensure the ongoing health of our inland river systems.”

From 30 April, up to five nets, comprised of either open pyramid lift nets, hoop / lift nets or a combination of both, can be used to catch yabbies in all inland waters where it is legal to use lift nets. For more information, visit the DPI website.

To assist with this transition, the Department of Primary Industries are giving away 5,000 open-top nets. To collect a free open-top yabby net, please phone (02) 6051 7760.

More information about the recreational fishing rule changes are available online at, or by contacting your local NSW DPI Fisheries office.

Media contact: Luke O’Donnell 0427 837 497