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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Prawn recreational fishing

Recreational prawning is mainly done in rivers and estuaries in the State’s south-west. The most popular areas include the Swan and Canning rivers near Perth and the Peel Inlet near Mandurah. The western school (school) prawn and western king (king) prawn are the main species taken.

To ensure the long-term sustainability of prawn stocks, we control recreational prawn fishing. There are restrictions on gear used for prawning and a daily bag limit. For prawns, ‘daily’ means for a period of 24 hours starting from midday. See the tables below for details.

There are annual closures of several fishing areas in the West Coast Bioregion, which runs from east of Augusta to north of Kalbarri, and includes Perth and Mandurah.

Bag limit

Location Daily bag limit, per fisher​
Statewide 9 litres (school and king prawns, combined)​

Legal prawning gear

Location​ Permitted prawning gear​
  • single hand-dip net;
  • single hand-scoop net;
  • single hand-throw net; or
  • single prawn hand-trawl (drag) net, maximum 4 m long – ie width between poles – with mesh not less than 16 mm, and must not be attached to a boat or set). See below for exceptions.
* The use of single prawn hand-trawl (drag) nets is not permitted at any time in the following areas of the West Coast Bioregion:
  • Dawesville Cut  
  • Harvey Estuary and its tributaries
  • Peel Inlet and its tributaries
  • Peel Inlet channel entrance
  • Leschenault Estuary and its tributaries
  • Swan River within 100 m of any part of Pelican Point Nature Reserve, or within 100 m of Milyu Nature Reserve. 


If prawning by boat, you will need a Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence.
Recreational fishers are not permitted to sell their prawn catch.
For more information on prawning rules, see our Statewide Recreational fishing guide.  

Last modified: 10/10/2014 5:22 PM

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