Australian bass and estuary perch season to open

FISHERS can again take to NSW waterways from September 1 to catch two of Australia’s favourite native sportfish, with the annual three month closed season for Australian bass and estuary perch, drawing to a close.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Acting Senior Fisheries Manager Inland, Craig Watson, said an annual zero bag limit for the species has been in place from June 1 to August 31 in all rivers and estuaries (except in impoundments and in rivers above impoundments) to protect these species during spawning.

“Australian bass and estuary perch are both sought after sportfish and are found in coastal rivers and lakes,” Mr Watson said.

“Both species form schools and migrate to parts of estuaries with the correct salinity over late autumn and early winter to trigger spawning.

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

“The spawning period for these fish has now finished with many returning to their spring and summer feeding ground higher up in the catchment.

“From September 1, fishers can once again take these native species, however bag limits will apply.”

A total bag limit of two Australian bass or estuary perch per person or a combination of both with a possession limit of four is in place.

Only one fish is permitted to be over 35 centimetres in length when fishing in rivers.

DPI acting director of fisheries compliance Tony Andrews said anyone who is unsure of the fisheries rules should always check before they go fishing.

“Fishing laws are designed to protect, conserve and improve our fisheries resources for our future generations,” Mr Andrews said.

“Heavy penalties for illegal fishing are in place so it is always best to check the rules before going out fishing.

“Fishers should always ensure they have a current NSW recreational fishing licence and have it in their immediate possession when dropping in a line.”

Information on freshwater fishing rules can be found in the NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide available from DPI Fisheries offices, online, at fishing licence agents and bait and tackle shops.

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