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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Fishing in WA’s north is always a fun experience, but make sure you know the fishing rules before wetting a line. 

Friday 15 June 2018

Fishers lured north for tropical fishing experience

It’s the time of the year when many fishers head north to enjoy some tropical fishing in the Pilbara/Kimberley or Gascoyne regions, so it’s important for these fishers to know the fishing rules for the northern part of the State.

Barramundi and mud crabs are highly sought after in the north.

When fishing for barramundi, you may only use a single rod, reel and line or a single hand-held line. There is a maximum daily bag and possession limit of two barramundi.

The minimum legal size is 550 mm, and it must not exceed the 800 mm maximum legal size. Unless being prepared for immediate consumption or being eaten, barramundi must be carried whole at sea, on estuaries and on rivers, and must also be landed whole, although it can be gutted and gilled.

WA’s two types of mud crabs – green and brown – appear very similar. Look for the spines or bumps on their claws to tell them apart.

It’s important to know the difference between the two species as green mud crabs have a minimum legal size (carapace width, from tip to tip of the spikes) of 150 mm, while the minimum size limit for brown mud crabs is 120 mm. Undersize mud crabs and ‘berried’ (egg-carrying) females are totally protected and must be immediately released.

There is a daily bag limit of five (green and brown combined) mud crabs per fisher.

There is a boat limit of 10 when there are two or more people on board. If it is a powered boat, two or more licenced fishers must be on board to carry the boat limit of mud crabs, otherwise only the daily bag limit of the person with the licence applies.

Many travellers don’t realise that using or being in possession of fish traps in or near WA waters is widely banned due to the potential impacts on aquatic life. There are some exceptions, such as the use of modified ‘opera house’ traps to target feral Queensland redclaw in Lake Kununurra or in dams not fed by WA waters on private property.
Travellers moving to or from others states who are carrying fish traps must ensure they are securely stowed in or on their vehicle, away from the water’s edge, at all times while in WA. Fish traps must not be carried on boats in WA waters at any time.

For more information see our recreational fishing rules.
You can also download our Recreational fishing guide in booklet size or the A4 print-friendly version.

Last modified: 15/06/2018 4:36 PM

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