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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Recreational fishing rules

To help keep our fish resources sustainable, we have developed a comprehensive set of rules for recreational fishers.

By following the rules you will help maintain the fantastic fishing opportunities here in WA, ensuring there are fish for the future for you and the generations to come.

The rules form part of our management strategies, which are based on on-going research monitoring of our fish and aquatic resources. The rules are reviewed on a regular basis.

New simpler rules from February 2013

From February 2013 new recreational fishing rules were introduced across the whole of Western Australia. However, some exceptions (for some species and some locations) still apply.

The new rules, covered in our Statewide Recreational fishing guide are easier to follow and will help to improve your recreational fishing experience.

Main changes to the rules 

Bag limits

The way we categorise finfish species and their bag limits has reduced from 13 categories across the State down to just four. These four categories – demersal, pelagic, nearshore/estuarine and freshwater – are based on where the fish live and their biology. These categories apply on a Statewide basis.

Transporting recreationally caught fish

You must accompany your fish if transporting it by land, sea or air. Unaccompanied recreationally caught fish cannot be transported by commercial couriers.

Transporting and landing filleted fish

There are new, simpler rules around filleting fish at sea and landing fish. A minimum fillet length now applies only to fish with a minimum size limit. Fish with a maximum size limit need to be landed whole.

In some cases there are rules which apply to specific biological regions – known as ‘bioregions.’  Find out more by clicking on the relevant bioregion in the map below. If you are planning a fishing trip, make sure you are aware of the fishing rules that apply before you set out.

Additional information can also be found in this list of frequently asked questions.


Last modified: 10/04/2014 12:34 PM

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