Commonly asked questions by recreational anglers regarding pest listing of redfin perch in NSW legislation

Compliance with notifiable listing of redfin perch from 1st July 2017

On the 1st July the NSW Government implemented the new Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act). Under this new legislation the Redfin perch are declared a notifiable species in NSW, Schedule 1 of the Biosecurity Regulation 2017 (the Regulation). Under Part 2, of the Regulation it is illegal to possess, buy, sell or move this pest in NSW. Heavy penalties apply for non-compliance

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 perch 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 perch are capable of rapidly populating waterways and in large numbers can out-compete most other fish species.
  • The notifiable 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 notifiable fish species is banned in NSW and heavy penalties apply). Fisheries Officers and Authorised Officers may also seize and destroy any live notifiable fish species.

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

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

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

Yes. If you keep it alive.

If you catch a redfin, they must be  humanely dispatched immediately and utilised or disposed of in an appropriate manner. It is not an offence to release a redfin 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 perch which has been caught to take home.

It is illegal to be in possession of a live Redfin perch in NSW (e.g. in a bucket, aquaria, keeper net, live well etc) and you can be fined. Anglers can only possess dead Redfin perch for example, on ice in an esky.

Can I stock Redfin perch in farm dams?

No - Redfin perch is a notifiable species in NSW and it is therefore illegal to possess or stock them in NSW. See Fish Stocking for details regarding fish stocking permits in NSW.

What do I do if I have Redfin perch in my farm dam?

If you have Redfin perch 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 perch, this will be investigated by DPI Heavy penalties apply.

Can I use Redfin perch for bait?

No - it is illegal to use live or dead Redfin perch 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 perch between waterways?

No - it is illegal to transfer any fish between waterways in NSW without 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 Biosecurity Act 2017 and NSW fishing rules and notifiable 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 Ornamental Fish or contact the Aquatic Biosecurity Unit by email aquatic.pests@dpi.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 4982 1232.