Priority Area Snapshot

events held

Involving 210,000 people and 20,000 volunteer hours (2,800 days)

Come Fish With Us events

Attended by 2,000 people

new education trailers

For the southwest and northwest Fishcare regions


Fishcare is one of the flagship programs of the Recreational Fishing Trusts with the mission to create a team of fishing stewards that champion responsible fishing and a sustainable, secure fishing future. Six Education Officers oversee and support 200 dedicated NSW Fishcare Volunteers who promote responsible and sustainable fishing and provide face-to-face and hands-on education to anglers on the ground. Fishcare also plays a key role in running sub-programs such as Get Hooked… It’s Fun to Fish and fishing workshops.

Key Achievements:

  • 370 events held, involving 210,000 people and 20,000 volunteer hours (2,800 days)
  • spotlight events included Tocal and Mudgee Field days, Sydney Royal Easter Show, The Harvest Festival, and the Sydney International Boat Show
  • Fishcare Volunteers helped at more than 86 Come Fish With Us events attended by 2,000 people
  • two new education trailers were purchased for the southwest and northwest Fishcare regions to better promote the program and wider trust initiatives.

Come Fish with Us

Come Fish With Us events teach adults and children how to fish in a responsible and sustainable manner. All events are free and include fishing workshops, try fishing sessions, and partnered events. The program provides fun, enjoyable educational experiences that teach the basics of fishing to new entrants giving them the skills to continue in the sport for life, mentoring the fishing stewards and champions of tomorrow.

Key Achievements:

  • 86 organised Come Fish With Us events - fishing workshops, try fishing days, and open fishing days
  • 2,000 anglers cast a line with DPI
  • around 1,100 days spent fishing at a local waterway with Fishcare
  • a new partnership with Fortem Group Australia established that uses fishing to support mental health outcomes for first responders.

Get Hooked… It’s Fun to Fish

The Get Hooked… It’s Fun to Fish program introduces students to fishing and teaches the basics about sustaining aquatic habitats by practising safe and responsible recreational fishing. The program provides in-class lessons and practical outdoor fishing workshops that are aligned with the Australian Curriculum and meet syllabus outcomes across all key learning areas.

Key Achievements:

  • 85 schools registered and 2,800 students participated in workshops and in-class sessions
  • feedback from Zoe (homeschool): "The kids all had a wonderful learning experience and the adults were all very impressed with how well-organised and engaging the whole workshop was"
  • feedback from Grania (The Armidale School): "The staff were phenomenal and very professional. The students learnt so much about the breeding process, sustainability, treating fish and marine life humanely, being aware of fish sizes and times of year to fish and not to mention how to correctly use fishing rods and to cast a line."

Gone Fishing Day

Gone Fishing Day is for everyone; it celebrates our love of fishing and encourages everyone to get out on the water. It doesn't matter if you haven't fished before or if you are the keenest of anglers, everyone is welcome. Funding grants and fishing packages are provided to fishing clubs to hold events while the DPI Fishcare Program also hosts a series of events across NSW.

Coastal anglers out and about for Gone Fishing Day

In October and November 2022, anglers from Ballina, Lake Macquarie, Sydney, and Batemans Bay enjoyed sunny weekends during DPI's Gone Fishing Day. Families came out to learn, try casting, and fish in their local waters. Ballina's event was part of the Taste of Seafood festival, and DPI Fisheries joined the Central Coast event with the Summerland Sporties fishing club.

Forge Through Fishing Program

The Forge Through Fishing Program encourages social engagement within the veteran and first responder community. The aim is to support those suffering from mental health conditions as a result of their service to socialise and engage in meaningful relationships while enjoying fishing outings and activities.

Key Achievements:

  • a series of individual fishing trips for veterans and first responders in both fresh and salt water (ranging from tuna to trout fishing) to introduce individuals to fishing as a meaningful activity to help in their well-being
  • annual Forge Through Social Fishing Day held in December, which attracted 27 teams
  • a range of opportunities outside the standard suite of treatments offered to participants to improve their mental health.

Fish For Life - Building a Healthy Fishing Future

Fish For Life aims to improve the social licence of recreational fishing, increase participation, and inspire increased stewardship and responsibility among the recreational fishing community. Through collaborations with partners and grassroots fishers, DPI is implementing on-ground and online initiatives that directly involve and benefit fishers and the sector.

Key Achievements:

  • Fish For Life strategy presented at the World Recreational Fishing Conference
  • high-quality social media content created to raise awareness among recreational fishers about the impact of fishing-related litter, in partnership with the Marine Estate Management Strategy program
  • partnership with OzFish established to coordinate and promote a series of community events throughout NSW focused on encouraging recreational fishers to actively participate in cleaning up their local fishing areas, promoting sustainability and stewardship.

Surf Life Saving NSW rock fishing safety and skills program

With a focus on rock fishing safety education, this initiative distributed over 1,000 lifejackets and provided education. It used workshops, school programs, multilingual resources, and targeted information to enhance community knowledge and awareness, aiming for behavior change. The project targeted high-risk areas and communities, particularly migrants with diverse languages, representing around 20 nationalities at each coastal safety event.

Key achievements

  • 10 coastal rock fishing workshop sessions with 1,722 attendees
  • 1,080 life jackets provided to local communities
  • 203 education sessions, reaching 4,912 community members
  • 18 TAFE classroom sessions
  • 55 early childhood and family sessions.

2022-23 Annual Report

Income and expenditure from the Trusts are subject to an annual audit and regular announcements are made about licence fee expenditure. DPI also carries out periodic surveys of recreational fishing licence holders to ensure that the broad funding priorities are in line with angler expectations.

Download the 2022-23 Annual Report