Murray crayfish season to open in NSW

REC fishers in south-western NSW are gearing up for the annual opening of the Murray crayfish season on Saturday, 1 June 2024.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) senior fisheries manager Fish Stocking and Enhancement, Matthew McLellan said the popular freshwater crayfish is mainly found in the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers and their tributaries in the southern parts of the state.

“Murray crayfish may only be taken during the months of June, July and August in the Murray River between Hume Weir and the Newell Highway Road bridge at Tocumwal including Lake Mulwala and in the Murrumbidgee River between the Hume Highway Road bridge at Gundagai and Berembed Weir, excluding Old Man Creek,” McLellan said.

“Several key rules are in place to ensure the protection of this vulnerable species and assist with its ongoing recovery.

“The annual Murray crayfish season opening is highly anticipated, and we want to ensure fishers abide by the rules to make sure we can sustain this species for future generations to enjoy.”

McLellan said NSW DPI Fisheries Officers will be patrolling our waterways to ensure recreational fishers and water users are following the rules and abiding by the size, bag and possession limits.

“The daily bag limit for Murray Crayfish is two and the possession limit is four per person, the minimum size limit for Murray Crayfish, measured from the rear of the eye socket to the centre rear of the carapace, is 10 cm and the maximum size limit is 12 cm,” McLellan said.

“Recreational fishers can also use up to a total of five hoop/lift nets or open pyramid lift nets or combination of these nets per person to take Murray Crayfish where permitted. It is unlawful to take Murray crayfish using any form of trap.

“Fishers will need to make sure the letters “HN” or “PN” and the user’s name, year of birth and postcode must be visibly written on each net’s float.

“We would also like to remind recreational fishers they must not take ‘berried’ females, remove or possess the heads, tails, or claws of crayfish in, on, or adjacent to waters, unless the crayfish are being prepared for immediate consumption, immediate use as bait or are being cleaned at a fish cleaning facility.”

Recreational fishers are reminded that opera house style yabby traps are banned in NSW. Detailed information on the fishing rules and Murray crayfish can be found at

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