Victoria Murray spiny crayfish season opens

REC fishers can once again set their sights on catching the much-loved freshwater Murray spiny crayfish when the three-month open season begins north of the Great Dividing Range on 1 June.

Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) CEO Travis Dowling said there are many popular spots in northern and north-east Victoria where crays can be targeted, primarily by boat-based fishers, using labelled hoop nets or even just a piece of meat on a length of string.

“If you’re new to freshwater cray fishing, it’s a great activity to try with the kids, you can do it in some beautiful settings and you don’t need a heap of gear to get started,” Dowling said.

“It could be a family camping trip at Lake Eildon or one of our iconic rivers like the Goulburn, Kiewa or Ovens and if you have some luck crays are a delicious dinner cooked over the campfire.

“Many generations of fishers have grown up catching crays from a tinny each winter and we want to see that tradition continuing for future generations. A big part of that will be work we’re doing at our new Snobs Creek Conservation Hatchery to grow craylings to boost wild populations.”

VFA Fisheries Officers will be patrolling hotspots this winter, with a particular focus on the handling and measuring of spiny crays to ensure they’re within the legal-size range of between 10cm to 12cm.

Tatura-based Supervising Fisheries Officer Daniel Gleeson said the measurements needed to be taken of the main body shell, known as the carapace length, defined as being measured from the rear of the eye socket to the near end of the shell before the tail.

“Knowing how to measure your cray helps us keep the fishery in good shape, so we’ll be out helping fishers ensure they’re doing it the right way and we’ll have plenty of our free Murray spiny crayfish measures to make that even easier,” he said.

You can grab a free Recreational Fishing Guide from your local tackle shop, download the free VicFishing app or head to for more information on the bag limit of two crays, the statewide possession limit of four per person at any one time and permitted equipment.

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