Bass & EP season open, Murray cod off limits

FROM September 1 the annual three-month closed season for Australian bass and estuary perch in NSW comes to a close.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Senior Fisheries Manager, Recreational and Indigenous Fishing, Cameron Westaway, said an annual zero bag limit for the species is in place in all rivers and estuaries (except in impoundments and in rivers above impoundments) from June 1 to August 31 to protect the vulnerable species.

“Both Australian bass and estuary perch form schools and migrate to parts of estuaries with the correct salinity over late autumn and early winter to trigger spawning,” Westaway said.

“When they are in these large groups, these great native sports fish can be vulnerable to fishing so a three month zero bag limit for these fish applies.”

However, the spawning period for these species has now finished with many now returning to their spring and summer feeding grounds higher up in the catchment.

From September 1 anglers are permitted to take these native species, however, bag limits apply. While anglers are permitted to take two Australian bass or estuary perch per person or a combination of both with a possession limit of four, catch & release is widely practised by the majority of conservation minded fishos.

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The estuary perch closed season ends on September 1. Pic: Kevin Savvas.

NSW DPI is also reminding anglers that fishing for Murray cod and Murray crayfish closes from September 1 until November 30.

“Every year the three-month ban on fishing protects this native species during its breeding season, so that there will be more Murray cod for the fishery in the future,” said Cameron Westaway.

“Murray crayfish provide the basis of a popular recreational fishery in many areas of the southern Murray-Darling Basin and are considered an iconic species within this system,” he said.

“The closure periods provide protection for these species over their dormant period.
“Fishers are also reminded that fishing for Murray crayfish is prohibited at all times in notified trout waters and in Blowering Dam.”

NSW DPI Director Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said fishing laws are in place to protect, conserve and improve the State’s fisheries resources for present and future generations.

“Fisheries officers will be patrolling our inland waters to ensure that these restrictions are being adhered to and that fishing rules are being followed,” Mr Tritton said.

A summary of the freshwater fishing rules can be found at, and in the free 2011 NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide available from NSW DPI offices, fishing licence agents and tackle shops.

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