Murray Crayfish Open Season Now Underway for 2023

31 May 2023

Fishers in south-western NSW are gearing up for the annual opening of the Murray Crayfish season on Thursday 1 June.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Deputy Director General Fisheries, Sean Sloan said the popular freshwater crustacean is mainly found in the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers and their tributaries in south-western NSW.

“Murray Crayfish may only be taken during the months of June, July and August in the Murray River between Hume Weir and the Newell Highway road bridge at Tocumwal including Lake Mulwala and in the Murrumbidgee River between the Hume Highway road bridge, Gundagai and Berembed Weir, excluding Old Man Creek,” Mr. Sloan said.

“A number of rules are in place to protect this vulnerable species and assist with its recovery.

“It’s a highly anticipated time when the Murray Crayfish season opens on 1 June for the winter months, and we want to ensure fishers can enjoy the season while abiding by the rules to make sure we can sustain this species for future generations.”

Mr Sloan said Fisheries Officers will be patrolling our waterways ensuring water users are following the rules and abiding by the bag and possession limits.

“Recreational fishers can use up to a total of five hoop/lift nets or open pyramid lift nets or combination of these nets per person to take Murray Crayfish where permitted. The letters “HN” or “PN” and the user’s name, year of birth and postcode must be visibly written on each net’s float,” Mr Sloan said.

“The daily bag limit for Murray Crayfish is two and the possession limit is four per person, the minimum size limit for Murray Crayfish, measured from the rear of the eye socket to the centre rear of the carapace, is 10cm and the maximum size limit is 12cm.

“Recreational fishers are also reminded they must not take ‘berried’ females, remove or possess the heads, tails or claws of crayfish in, on, or adjacent to waters, unless the crayfish are being prepared for immediate consumption, immediate use as bait or are being cleaned at a fish cleaning facility.”

Recreational fishers are reminded that opera house style yabby traps are banned in NSW. Detailed information on the fishing rules and Murray Crayfish can be found at

Check out the FishSmart app providing recreational fishers 24/7 smartphone access to essential information they need to know to fish in NSW. You can find it in the App Store or on Google Play.

Any suspected illegal fishing activity can be reported through the FishSmart app or to the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536.

Media contact: 02 6391 3686