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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
​   Know the rules where you fish
Thursday 21 May 2020

Know the rules and have great fun catching a barra in WA's north

This is the time of year that barramundi fishing in the Kimberley is enjoyed the most.

Not only is barra a great table fish, but getting it on to a dinner plate can be quite a challenge and that’s what recreational fishers really enjoy about catching it. Known as a feisty sport fishing species, barramundi travel great distances during their migration from freshwater to the ocean along the great river systems in Western Australia’s far north.

Hard to catch, because they’re wily and like to hide, when they’re hooked, barramundi usually don’t make reeling them in easy either and sometimes even tail dance trying to get away. So, there’s lots of fishing skill needed to land one and at all times fishers need follow the rules.

In addition to the website information, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has also produced a new flyer that’s available from our Broome and Kununurra offices, which provides a quick handy reference to key barramundi fishing rules.

Senior DPIRD compliance officer Luke Kotys said the majority of recreational fishers were known to be good stewards of our northern fisheries.

“A reminder about the rules from time to time is all most of them need as a refresher, which is where this flyer will help in providing a simple look at the minimum and maximum size limits that apply for barramundi, as well as the bag and possession limits that apply,” Mr Kotys said.

“The minimum size limit is 550 millimetres (mm) and the maximum is 800mm. Even the average barramundi in the legal size range provides a really good feed.

“Fishers must return undersize or oversize fish to the water as soon as possible, to give them the best chance of survival and, if you’re taking a quick trophy photo, remember not to hold them by the gills and make sure you support the barramundi’s bodyweight.

Kununurra recreational fisher Nick Allen with a barramundi measuring 900mm, which was returned to the water.

“Sustainable management of the barramundi stock helps to ensure the thrill of catching a barra in the Kimberley will be possible for generations to come.”  

There’s more on the recreational rules applying to barramundi in the in the Recreational fishing guide, which is available on the department’s website at

Fishers are urged to report any kind of suspected illegal fishing activity to the FishWatch line on 1800 815 507. FishWatch is available 24/7. Reports treated in strictest confidence.

Fishers should also be aware that, with the easing of some of WA’s COVID-19 restrictions, non-contact recreational activities such as boating and fishing are permitted. Just remember that while limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings have been increased to 20 people, travel restrictions are still in place and everyone should continue social distancing and good hygiene.

Last modified: 21/05/2020 2:44 PM

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