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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.

Most of the key Statewide fishing rules can be found in our Recreational fishing guide, which includes bag and size limits tables for the main species you are likely to catch throughout WA.

A number of rules also apply to licensed fisheries and some rules apply to specific biological regions, known as 'bioregions' –  click on the relevant section in the map below for more details.

You should also be aware of rules for individual species.

The rules form part of our management strategies, which are based on ongoing research monitoring of our fish and aquatic resources.

Main changes to the rules in 2015 

Changes to Australian herring bag limit 

The bag limit for Australian herring has been reduced to 12 Statewide.

Fish backbone, wings and frames excluded from possession limit

The Statewide possession limit has been modified to exclude fish backbones, frames and wings (on the basis that the entire fillet has been removed).

Additional protection for crabs

All fishers must release any undersize crabs to the water before attempting to take another crab. In addition, all uncooked crabs must be kept whole unless being prepared for immediate consumption.

Protection for smooth and black stingrays

These two stingray species are now protected in the South Coast and West Coast bioregions. If caught in these regions, these stingrays must be returned to the water immediately without causing them further injury.

Notifying us when travelling to the Abrolhos Islands

The master of a vessel must notify us before travelling to the Abrolhos Islands.

Protection for native freshwater species

A number of native freshwater species are now totally protected from fishing and cannot be used as bait, dead or alive.



Last modified: 23/03/2015 4:06 PM

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