Kids fishing workshops

DPI runs general fishing workshops in both freshwater and saltwater locations. The location sites vary over time but generally are located in either departmental owned facilities or safe locations which have been risk assessed by agency staff.

  • Freshwater workshops are also often run at departmental fish hatcheries, such as Gaden (Jindabyne), Dutton (Ebor), Narrandera and Grafton.
  • Saltwater workshops are run at places such as, Brunswick Heads, Ballina, Evans Head, Coffs Harbour, Urunga, The Entrance, Lake Macquarie, Potonga, Narrabeen, Balmain, Darling Harbour, Cronulla, Lake Illawarra, Narooma and Batemans Bay.

Workshops are for children aged between 8 and 14 years. Workshops generally last no more than 5 hours and the number of maximum participants is 30.

When are the next DPI workshops?

Freshwater workshop timetable


Workshop dates


South Western Region
Simone Mabon

Ph: 02 6816 3214

M: 0447 219 618


September School Holidays 2019

Narrandera, Bookings Ph: 02 6958 8200

Gaden hatchery Workshops

Stephen Thurstan
Ph: 02 4220 8484
M: 0438 245 190

September School Holidays 2019

Jindabyne, Ph: 02 4220 8484

North Western Region

Roger Cupples

Ph: 02 6763 1242

M: 0419 662 508

September School Holidays

Lake Keepit

Dutton Hatchery Workshops

Melanie Buhler

Ph: 02 6691 9681

M: 0458 274 876

September School Holidays

Ebor Ph: 02 6691 9681 (leave a detailed message

Saltwater workshop timetable

North Coast Region
Melanie Buhler

Ph: 02 6691 9681

M: 0458 274 876

September School Holidays


Coffs Harbour

Central Region 
Travis Morgan

M: 0429 485 691

September School Holidays

The Entrance

Lake Macquarie


Sydney Region
Simone Mabon
Ph: 02 9741 4846
M: 0417 445 847

September School Holidays

Sydney Regatta Centre


Southern Region
Stephen Thurstan
Ph: 02 4220 8484
M: 0438 245 190

Christmas School Holidays

Batemans Bay


Greenwell Point

Lake Illawarra

What is included in fishing workshops?

A charge of $40 applies per child to all fishing workshops, except the Community Engagement and Special Needs Fishing Workshops, which are conducted free of charge. The charge subsidises the cost of gear used/given to the child at the completion of the days activities.

Over the course of the day, children are taken through a series of activity or lesson sessions including:

  • rules and regulations
  • fishing safety and responsibly
  • conservation of fish habitats
  • knot tying
  • line rigging and baiting
  • casting techniques, retrieval of fish and fish handling

At the completion of the day, each child is receives a rod, reel, tackle box, hooksafe, shirt, cap and goodie bag to take home with them. At some venues a BBQ lunch and or morning/afternoon tea is also provided. At the end of the day a quiz session provides each child with a prize to take home, plus a certificate of achievement.

Your child's safety on the day

DPI complies with the NSW Commission for Children and Young People, by ensuring all staff and volunteers undergo working with children checks and follow the practices as outlined by the agency.

Sites used by the agency to undertake the workshops are risked assessed by experienced DPI staff and risks and hazards identified and minimised.

All parents are encouraged to ensure there child is appropriately dressed for the days activity, including enclosed shoes, they bring a water bottle and sunscreen is applied beforehand. Children with allergies and or health conditions are catered for provided information has been given prior, by correctly filling out the requested paperwork and returning it to the appropriate Education Officer, three working days prior to the workshop.

How are Fishing Licence Fees being used to support this program?

The NSW Recreational Fishing Trust provides funding to ensure the workshop program continues around the state. With these funds, we are better placed to ensure consistent messages, effectiveness and equity in our workshop program. Quality take home materials such as rods and reels ensures the education experience lasts longer.

How do I get involved in these fishing workshops?


General fishing workshops are advertised in local papers, on our website and at agency offices, each advert has contact details attached and you are encouraged to call this number to lodge your interest with the agency. You will be sent out a set of forms for completion and return. Workshop payment is via credit card only and must be paid prior to the event.

Contact your local Fisheries Education Officer for more information.


A number of special needs, community engagement and NESB fishing workshops are undertaken each year. These are free to each participant, however it is the responsibility of the group/organisation to provide transport to and from the location and qualified carers where necessary.

Limited numbers of workshops are available each year so unfortunately not all requests can be met.

Contact your local Fisheries Education Officer for more information.

Contact information

For more information about the Department's fishing workshops, contact the State Coordinator, Community Programs, on 02 6229 7712 or email

DPI workshops feedback

"Many of the students that I brought would never get the opportunity to learn about fish, fishing and conservation. As part of our outdoor educational program, it was a wonderful opportunity for our boys to develop knowledge and understanding about responsible fishing practices, fishing rules and regulations, fishing safety and fish anatomy. Our school cannot wait until next year, we would like to bring more! Once again, thanks."

Tracey, Canberra

"I'd like to thank you and all the people involved for the excellent workshop held at Tuross Head last Wednesday 15th April, 2015. I was informed of it through the local Tuross Head Fishing Club and its involvement with the Tuross Head Country Club. I am retired here and offered my grandchildren in Canberra the experience. 4 of them joined it enthusiastically. Aged from 9 to 14, 3 boys and 1 girl, all were delighted with their experiences. Not only did they learn sound basic skills but they remain keen to continue their fishing. The day was cleverly organised to teach the range of age groups and the fishing and safety gear they received served to cement their interest in fishing. What a great concept and adventure! Thanks."


"I just wanted to write to you to thank you for offering such a wonderful fishing program. Aaron had a wonderful day and came home reiterating all that he had learnt about fishing and its restrictions. He is now very keen to talk about his experience in an assessment task due next term. It is always a challenge as a parent to find engaging and educational activities during school holidays. I congratulate you and particularly the volunteers for providing such a memorable day. I will certainly be singing your praises."

Mary, Sydney

"As it's the last day of the school holidays I just wanted to tell what a great time fishing my boys have had these holidays. They have spent the best part of the holidays riding up and down river on their bikes to various fishing holes, fishing and swimming. All thanks to the workshop. They have become fishing obsessed and get up at 5.30, unheard of for most 14 yr olds!!, just to go fishing. Best of all they have caught some really big fish that they thrilled with. Cheers."

Michelle, Central West Tablelands

Who else runs fishing workshops in NSW?

DPI also supports the 'Hooked on Fishing' programs run by the Department of Sport & Recreation during school holiday periods at centres such as, Broken Bay and Myuna Bay. For more information contact the Department of Sport and Recreation on 13 13 02.

Fishing education programs are also run by some fishing clubs, councils and community education centres. To find the groups in your area, contact your local council and request a list of the local community organisations.