Fishing season closes for bass, EP

BASS CLOSURE: An eager fisherman with an Australian bass.

BASS CLOSURE: An eager fisherman with an Australian bass.

Fishers are reminded a closure on taking Australian bass and estuary perch from all rivers and estuaries is in place from June 1, for a three month period.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Inland Senior Fisheries Manager, Cameron Westaway, said the annual zero bag limit protects these important native recreational species.

“The zero bag limit will be in place for three months to protect the fish species while they spawn,” Mr 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 can be vulnerable to fishing when they are in large groups – hence the reason for the closure.”

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

“All fish in freshwater impoundments, including Glenbawn Dam and Glennies Creek Dam in the Hunter Valley, Brogo Dam near Bega and Clarrie Hall and Toonumbar Dams in the northeast are stocked fisheries, meaning anglers may continue to fish for these species in those waters all year round,” Mr Westaway said.

“The zero bag limit does not close any waters to fishing and does not affect anglers fishing for other estuary species, such as bream of flathead.

“However, any Australian bass or estuary perch caught must be immediately returned to the water with the least possible injury.”

DPI fisheries officers will be patrolling bass waters during the zero bag limit period to advise anglers on the fishing rules and enforce size and bag limits for other species.

Anglers should check they have a current NSW Recreational Fishing Fee, available from more than 1000 agents, including bait and tackle stores, on 1300 369 365 or online at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/recreational/licence-fee.

Detailed information on fishing rules can be found in the NSW DPI Recreational Fishing Guides, at DPI Fisheries offices, and at most bait and tackle stores.

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