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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Recreational fishing rules

To help keep our fish resources sustainable, a comprehensive set of rules for recreational fishers exists, including:

​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 online​, in our  recreational fishing guide or via the Recfishwest App.​

New rules

Southern garfish​

From 1 March 2024, the take of southern garfish in Perth metropolitan waters is now permitted. This is a result of seven years of reduced fishing pressure which has helped boost southern garfish stocks. A daily bag limit of 30 applies for the garfish group.

West Coast demersal scalefish

Following extensive community and industry consultation, management changes were introduced to boost the recovery of demersal scalefish stocks in the West Coast bioregion​ from Kalbarri to Augusta. 

Changes for recreational fishers

On 1 February 2023, the following changes commenced:
  • ​Extended the closed season for recreational fishers in the West Coast bioregion.

  • Catching demersal scalefish from a boat will be prohibited from:
​Year Dates prohibited​ ​catching demersal scalefish from a boat:
​2024 1 February to 28 March 2024 (inclusive)​ 1 August to 15 September 2024 (inclusive)​ ​​15 October to 15 December 2024 (inclusive)

*Note this does not apply to land based recreational line fishers, and persons on a fishing charter.

  • ​​​A mixed species daily bag limit of two demersal scalefish, including WA dhufish (except coral trout, coronation trout and western blue groper have a daily bag limit of one).
  • A boat limit of four demersal scalefish per vessel.
  • ​​The removal of the WA dhufish boat limit.
  • A maximum of one bait or lure per line when fishing for demersal scalefish.
  • Removal of size limits for WA dhufish, baldchin groper and breaksea cod to limit baro-trauma.
  • ​Abrolhos Islands changes:  
      • ​​​reduced bag limit of one demersal scalefish;

      • reduced finfish possession limit of:
          • ​​5 kg of fillets from any species, plus 5 kg of fillets from large pelagic finfish (must have skin attached for identification purposes); OR

          • one day’s bag limit of whole fish.
  • Shifting the timing of the Abrolhos Islands baldchin groper spawning closure to be 1 October to 31 December (inclusive). 
  • ​Extending the timing of the Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds pink snapper spawning closure to be 1 August to 31 January (inclusive).

Video series - new demersal rules explained

1. Spawning protection

2. One bait, one lure

3. Boat and bag limits

4. Size limits​

5. Abrolhos Islands​

New management changes are also in place for commercial and charter fishers in the West Coast bioregion.

Find out more on the West Coast demersal scalefish resource​ homepage.


From 1 October 2023:

Recreational fishing for greenlip abalone is closed in the area from Busselton Jetty to Shoal Cape (Area 3).

 Map of the area closed to greenlip abalone fishing

Commercial fishing for greenlip abalone is also prohibited in the same area. 

See the Abalone recreational fishing guide​ for further information.

Metropolitan wire trace fishing​

From 3 November 2023:

Recreational fishing with wire trace is prohibited within 800 metres of all Perth metropolitan beaches from Tim’s Thicket Beach to 5 kilometres north of Two Rocks and within all waters of the Swan-Canning Estuary.

The restrictions have been put in place following ongoing community concerns around recreational shark fishing.

Further information, see the map and brochure.​

Summary of key changes to WA recreational fishing rules which came into effect on 1 July 2021: 

  • Introduction of trip limits. While on a fishing trip you may accumulate up to 10kg of finfish fillets of any species, no skin required, plus an additional 10kg of fillets of large pelagic fish with skin on. The existing possession limit of 20kg of fillets of any species will continue to apply at a person's principal place of residence.
  • Removal of the 30cm minimum fillet length for filleting at sea.
  • Update to the definition of whole fish, which can now be cut in two pieces and still be considered as one fish. (For both filleting and whole fish rules, skin will need to be attached while still at sea.)
  • Release weights will be required for the master of all fishing boats fishing by line for demersal finfish, anywhere in WA, not just in the West Coast Region.

For more information, read our FAQ and media release.​



Last modified: 23/02/2024 2:58 PM

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