NSW Research Angler Program

We want your fish skeletons!

We need fish frames from recreational fishers to help with the monitoring of Mulloway, Yellowtail Kingfish, Snapper, Dusky Flathead, Blue Spotted Flathead, Pearl Perch, Spanish or Spotted Mackerel, Bass Grouper, Bar Cod and Hapuka.We don't just want huge trophy fish, the little ones are just as important as the big ones. All legal length frames are wanted and will help with this important work. Data collected by this program will contribute toward ensuring continued quality recreational fishing opportunities for your favourite species into the future.

The earbones (otoliths) are used to determine the age of the fish. Age data is used to build a picture of the age structure of the species population. This combined data details how many fish there are of each age in the stock, which helps evaluate the health of the species. By collecting this data over time we can also see how the structure of fish populations in NSW may be changing.

We will send you a certificate with the age of the fish and an image of the fish's ear-bone and you will go into the fantastic monthly prize draw. If you would like to find out more about the program email us or phone on 0406 760 623.

How to donate frames or otoliths?

A snapper frame bagged following examiniationRemoval of otoliths in the laboratory

Donate your fish frames at participating tackle store drop off point. Frames can be donated fresh or frozen. If you are unable to keep the entire frame, just the head will do with the fishes estimated total length. Fish can be wrapped in plastic bags, cling wrap, foil, or other methods but please include the capture information below in the same package on a piece of paper.

Who caught the fish – name and contact details (phone number, postal and/or email address)

When & where the fish was caught – Date and location name or latitude/longitude if available and either estuary, shore (rocks, beach or break wall) or offshore (this information is confidential so you can continue to keep your favourite fishing spots secret!).

"Keen Angler Diary"

Recreational fishers can also participate in the "Keen Angler Diary" program. We’ll give you waterproof diary along with a NSW Research Angler Program fish measuring mat. Record information on when and where each fishing excursion occurred and the lengths of any Mulloway or Dusky flathead (retained or released). If you would like to find out more email us or phone on 0406 760 623.

Fish Tagging

We are keen to have anglers involved in tagging theses great species. If you would like to get involved in tagging please send us an email or phone (02) 6691 9602

If you catch a tagged fish, please record the tag number, measure the length of the fish, follow the instructions on the tag and pass these details onto the email address above. The crucial data collected by this project will help us to learn more about the movements, growth and post-release survival of these key fish species.

Prizes available!

For each Mulloway, Kingfish, Snapper, Dusky Flathead, Blue Spotted Flathead, Pearl Perch, Spanish or Spotted Mackerel, Bass Grouper, Bar Cod and Hapuka frame donated, the donor will receive a single entry into our fantastic monthly prize draw with the winners announced on the RAP Newsletter update.


The NSW Research Angler Program newsletter provides anglers with updates on the program along with interesting catches by other anglers.

To receive the NSW Research Angler Program newsletter to your email, subscribe now.

Privacy statement

Your privacy is protected under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.  Visit the Privacy Policy for more information about how the Department manages your personal information.