Bag limits revised in the NT

As of 1 February 2011 there will be a number of changes to current rec fishing regulations for barramundi and cherabin (freshwater prawns) in the Northern Territory’s Daly and Mary River areas.

According to NT Fisheries Minister Kon Vatskalis the new measures are to ensure that the NT’s high quality recreational fishing experience can continue to be enjoyed by Territorians and visitors alike now and into the future.

Vatskalis said the Daly River has become an increasingly popular destination for recreational fishers due to improved infrastructure and facilities in the area – and the NT Government wants to ensure its reputation as a premier fishing destination continues into the future. As a result a new

Daly River Fish Management Zone has been established to protect barramundi and freshwater crustaceans across the entire length of the Daly River, and to allow the transport of catch along the Stuart Highway (linking the Daly to Darwin to the north and Katherine to the south) without compromising the ability to enforce the new controls.

“The reduction in the barramundi limit on the Daly from five to three will help maintain the Daly River as a premier fishing destination, while the complementary change in limit from two to three barra on the Mary River will align the controls between these two iconic areas” said Vatskalis.

The new recreational fishing regulations for the Daly River Fish Management Zone include:

  • A personal possession limit of 10 cherabin
  • A vessel limit of 30 cherabin when 3 or more people are on board
  • Freshwater crustacean pot limits of 3 per person and 6 per vessel when 2 or more people are on board
  • The personal barramundi possession limit will be reduced from 5 to 3

New recreational fishing regulations for the existing Mary River Fish Management Zone include the existing personal barramundi possession limit will be raised from 2 to 3.

New recreational fishing regulations to apply across the Territory include:

  • Female freshwater crustaceans bearing eggs or live young will be protected and must be released unharmed
  • New dimensions for freshwater crustacean pots/traps will apply that prohibit drum-style traps (to be effective from 1 January 2012)

Minister Vatskalis said; “Feedback during public consultation on the proposed changes showed that the vast majority of people and stakeholder groups supported these measures.”

The changes for cherabin fishing will also mean that new pot regulations will apply across the Territory and only pot designs that do not keep on fishing or entangle wildlife if lost or forgotten, such as Opera House style pots, will be permitted.

For the past thirty years respective NT Governments have been proactive in putting measures in place to protect fish stocks as well as enhance recreational fishing opportunities. As is evident in the quality of fishing available in the Territory, they have been highly successful in achieving these outcomes.

For more information on the new changes, as well as all NT fishing controls, contact NT Fisheries on (08) 8999 2144 or visit

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