Responsible fishing

Handy fishing tips

A man fishing at dusk

NSW DPI promotes responsible fishing practices at all times. Deliberately fishing for threatened or protected species without the appropriate approvals is illegal. When fishing for other species, consider the following tips to maximise the survival of any inadvertently caught threatened species:

  • Use methods and rigs that reduce deep hooking – fish for your target species with artificial lures or
    flies and use non-offset circle hooks when using bait.
  • If the fish is hooked deeply, cut the line as close as possible to the fish’s mouth. Do not try to remove
    the hook.
  • Use barbless hooks or hooks with reduced barbs to make removal easier and minimise damage.
  • Avoid lifting the fish from the water – if possible, unhook the fish while it is still in the water. Try to
    retrieve hooks from mouth hooked fish and release the fish as quickly as possible.
  • Support the weight of the fish properly. Use wet hands or wet gloves when handling fish to minimise
    damage to their skin. Don’t hold the fish by the gills or eyes.
  • Use knotless mesh landing nets – avoid knotted mesh nets which may damage the fish’s scales, skin,
    eyes and fins.
  • Use only legal fishing gear –gaff hooks, spears, spear guns or similar devices are totally prohibited in
    any freshwater environment.
  • If you accidentally catch a threatened species, try to avoid hooking them by changing your location, baits or fishing rigs. Report the catch and release of any threatened species to NSW DPI.
  • If you suspect illegal fishing activity contact your local NSW DPI fisheries office or fishers watch phone line on free call 1800 043 536

Watch a video on how to identify some threatened species and minimise fishing impacts