Closed season on bass & EPs

A three-month ban on the taking of Australian bass and estuary perch from all rivers and estuaries in NSW commences on June 1.

Industry & Investment NSW Senior Fisheries Manager (Inland) Cameron Westaway said the zero bag limit was introduced because of feedback from the community during the three-year review into recreational fishing rules.

“The zero bag limit is designed to protect these important recreational species while they spawn,” Westaway said.

“Both Australian bass and estuary perch form schools and migrate to parts of estuaries with the correct salinity to trigger spawning.”

“These great native sports fish are vulnerable to fishing when they are in large groups,” he said.

The three month ban did not close any waters to fishing and would not affect anglers fishing for other estuary species such as bream or flathead.

Any bass or estuary perch caught must be immediately returned to the water with the least possible harm.

Fisheries officers will be increasing their patrols of bass and estuary perch waters to advise anglers on fishing rules and to enforce size and bag limits for other species.

An on the spot penalty of $500 applies to anyone caught breaching the closed season.

Cameron Westaway said the zero bag limit did not apply to Australian bass and estuary perch caught in freshwater impoundments and dams, as they will not breed in these areas.

Detailed information on fishing rules can be found on the I&I NSW website at, at I&I NSW Fisheries offices, and bait and tackle stores.

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