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Changes to Recreational Fishing Rules
Written by QLD Government
Created / Updated on Tuesday 3rd of September 2019
Photos / Files Available
A number of changes have been made to Queensland fishing rules – these new rules commenced 1 September 2019.

Please note: Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol will not immediately issue fines for non-compliance with these changes. For the fist few months, the focus will be on education and awareness.

Size limits

Pearl perch – increased from 35 cm to 38 cm

King threadfin – increased from 60 cm to 65 cm on the east coast

Mary River cod – increased from 50 cm to 60 cm

Murray cod – 110 cm maximum limit removed

Possession limits

Mud crab – reduced from 10 to 7

Boat limits for mud crab, prawns, snapper, black jewfish, barramundi, shark, Spanish mackerel, sea cucumber and tropical rock lobster – 2 times the possession limit

Pearl perch – reduced from 5 to 4

Tropical rocklobster – limit of 5 applies in all Queensland waters

Blue swimmer crab – reduced from no limit to 20

Mollusc and gastropod (including pipis) – reduced from 50 to 30

General limit of 20 for all species without a possession limit (excluding some bait species) – e.g. you can only have 20 butter bream in your possession, as this fish doesn’t have it’s own prescribed possession limit.

No limit for following bait species – southern herring, common hardyhead, Australian sardine, Australian anchovy, silver biddy, saltwater yabby, soldier crab and non-regulated worms

Limit of 50 for following bait species – mullet (excluding diamondscale, sea and freshwater mullet), cuttlefish or squid (excluding tiger squid), smooth-clawed rock crab and yellowtail pike

Hammerhead sharks and white teatfish – no take

Oysters (excluding pearl oysters) must be eaten on the spot where they are taken (pearl oysters can be taken away from the site – must be correct size)

Australian bass – increased from 2 to 5 in dams and weirs under the Stocked Impoundment Permit scheme Cribb Island worm (formerly known as blood worm) – limit of 50

Mary River cod – limit of 1 in stocked impoundments expanded to include Wyaralong Dam, Ewen Maddock Dam, Caboolture River Weir, Robina Lakes, Lake Kurwongbah, Enoggera Reservoir and Lake Manchester


Snapper and pearl perch seasonal closure – 15 July to 15 August each year

Closed waters prohibit take of black jewfish within 200 m from the Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay coal terminals

Standardised start and end times for most fishery closures – midnight to midnight

Tinana Creek and its tributaries upstream of Teddington Weir wall closed to all forms of fishing

Murray cod seasonal closure – 1 August to 31 October each year

Waters closed to line fishing (or possession of a fishing line) from 1 August to 31 October:
– Coomera River (upstream of defied boundary)
– Albert River (upstream of defied boundary)
– Running Creek
– Christmas Creek
– Stanley River (upstream of defied boundary)
– Mary River (upstream of defied boundary, excluding Baroon Pocket Dam, Borumba Dam and Lake MacDonald)


Recreational crab apparatus and freshwater traps must be marked with the surname and address of the person using the apparatus

Mulloway and scaly jewfish must be kept whole while on board a vessel

Black jewfish will become a no-take species for all sectors when the total allowable commercial catch is reached.

Fishing Blackmarketing
Written by Bruce Alvey
Created / Updated on Thursday 25th of April 2019

I think you will all be aware that the term "Recreational Fisherman" has been used by Fisheries Queensland in describing the participants in black marketing operations of fish for too many years. After writing to the Minister again, Sunfish has been contacted by the Minister of Fisheries Hon. Mark Furner who has assured us this will be changed in future. People carrying out these illegal activities will be referred to as just "Fishers"

We thank the Minister for supporting this change.

However, while we are talking about this subject, I would like to ask all fishing groups in Queensland to remind their members and friends that breaking the fishing regulations can carry heavy penalties. So always measure your fish and observe possession limits which do change occasionally - so be aware. (Eat your fish in the freezer regularly, do not let it build up.) . The law also states “possession of fish” so you can be prosecuted for excess fish or illegal fish regardless of the circumstances.

In Queensland it is illegal for recreational fishers to use your catch for any type of financial gain. You can give your fish away but remember you are responsible for the quality of this fish and any repercussions this act may cause. Giving away fish with any expectation of “reward” is also illegal as is “bartering” fish for services. You cannot raffle recreationally caught fish to raise funds for any reason. (This is legal in NSW for “Charities” but not in Qld.)

Thank you for your support and for participating in a wonderful healthy activity which can be fun for the whole family and provide one of the best meals you can eat.

Good Fishing.

Kind Regards
Bruce Alvey
Chair Sunfish Queensland Inc.

News Article

Created / Updated on Monday 21st of May 2018
Photos / Files Available
A group of very concerned recreational fishers got their boats ready on Friday and met at Blue Fins Fishing Club Inala to voice their significant worries about reductions to their existing catch possession limits and then proceeded to convoy onto the Premiers electorate office in Richlands.

Recreational fishers have been supporting the current Sustainable Fisheries Strategy. They, like many others, including Fisheries Queensland believe that the current fisheries management protocols are many years past being overhauled. The current system is strongly based on an antiquated perception that there are never too many harvesters on the water. We now have a commercial fishing industry that has far too many operators that are using their licences only during spawning aggregations to top up their other incomes because there are too many of them to all have profitable fishing businesses.

What was expected was that a line wold be drawn in the sand and for each species the existing data would be used to calculate current catch share amongst all sectors: commercial, recreational, indigenous and conservation (theirs stay in the water?). If a species was then identified as in trouble everyone would take an equal hit based on their catch share.

However, in the last week it has become apparent that within Fisheries Queensland there is a separate personal agenda being driven very forcefully to reallocate a considerable portion of the existing recreational catch to the commercial sector before the starting gate has even opened. Small meetings have been held across the state where total possession limits of 3 mud crabs or 15 fish of a species have been very heavily pushed by Fisheries Qld staff. This contradicts the information put out by the department in the discussion papers.

Grassroots recreational fishers are so concerned that they will be breaking proposed rules in order to put a decent feed of fish on the table for their families that they presented a letter to the Premier’s office outlining their concerns. Given that this information has only been available for little more than a week, the turnout of more than 30 boats and at least 70 fishers on a weekday indicates just how distressed many of them are. I expect that this sentiment will only increase across the state in the weeks to come,

For further information please contact Martin Cowling on 0427 011 507

Response to the Green Paper Recommendations
Written by Sunfish
Created / Updated on Monday 10th of October 2016

Sunfish Queensland supports the review into the management protocols of Fisheries Queensland. We do however believe that our fisheries stocks are generally in good health when compared in an international context. To maintain the healthy stocks and improve those in lesser abundance management of our fisheries needs to move forward and not cling to processes of the past.

We support the vision, goals and areas of reform proposed but the greatest challenges will be resourcing, data, community acceptance and keeping the reform external to the election process.

Our commercial fisheries need to be overhauled so that they have less operators and they are redesigned to better operate in a consumer environment that has a strong focus on socially and environmentally sustainably caught seafood. This will help to ensure greater profitability within commercial fisheries for the operators and make the career of “commercial fisherman” a viable career choice.

To read the full 6 page response, please download the PDF

No Media Releases.
Created / Updated on Friday 6th of November 2015

There are no current media releases by Sunfish Qld.
Filesize: 414 KB    Date: 03 Sep 2019 11:49
A number of changes have been made to Queensland fishing rules – these new rules commenced 1 September 2019.
Filesize: 534 KB    Date: 13 Oct 2016 14:05
Fisheries Greenpaper Sunfish Reply
RESPONSES TO THE GREEN PAPER RECOMMENDATIONS Sunfish Queensland supports the review into the management protocols of Fisheries Queensland. We do however believe that our fisheries stocks are generally in good health when compared in an international context. To maintain the healthy stocks and improve those in lesser abundance management of our fisheries needs to move forward and not cling to processes of the past. .. Download PDF to read more. 6 page document.
Filesize: 411 KB    Date: 24 May 2013 21:23
RUF Boat Ramp Flyer

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Filesize: 659 KB    Date: 22 Jun 2013 20:27
Marine Reserve Management Plans

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