National News

Australian Bass

Fishers gear up for Australian Bass and Estuary Perch season

NSW anglers can cast a line for Australian Bass and Estuary Perch in NSW waters from Tuesday 1 September, as the annual three-month closed season concludes.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Senior Fisheries Manager Inland Cameron Westaway said the closure period is important to protect the native species.

“The native sportsfish have now completed their annual spawning and migration, which occurs each year over late autumn and early winter,” Mr Westaway said.

“A zero bag limit is in place in rivers between 1 June and 31 August to allow the fish to form schools and migrate to parts of estuaries with the correct salinity, to trigger spawning.

“From Tuesday 1 September, anglers can take both Australian Bass and Estuary Perch, however they are reminded that strict bag limits do apply.”

The total bag limit is two Australian Bass or Estuary Perch per person, with a combined total possession limit of four fish per person.

“When fishing in rivers, only one fish is permitted to be over 35 centimetres in length,” Mr Westaway added.

“The department enforces the three-month closure annually as during their spawning season, the schools of fish can be vulnerable to fishing.

“Now, in spring, most fish will return to their warmer weather feeding grounds higher up in the catchment.”

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

Fishing laws are designed to protect, conserve and improve our fisheries resources for our future generations.

People can report suspected illegal fishing to the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536.