Restrictions have been lifted for Australian bass and estuary perch

Angler Jai Miller with a bass

Angler Jai Miller with a bass

Anglers with a passion for Australian bass and estuary perch can again target the species in NSW waters, with the three-month annual fishing closure having drawn to an end on September 1.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) senior fisheries manager Cameron Westaway said the native sportsfish have now completed their annual spawning and migration, which occurs each year over late autumn and early winter.

“During this important time, we protect the popular native species by implementing a zero bag limit between June 1 and September 1,” Mr Westaway said.

“This allows them to form schools and migrate to parts of estuaries with the correct salinity, to trigger spawning.

“Anglers can take both Australian bass and estuary perch from this Saturday, September 1, but are reminded that strict bag limits do apply.”

The total bag limit is two Australian bass or estuary perch per person, or a combination of both with a total possession limit of four.

Estuary Perch, NSW Department of Primary Industries

Estuary Perch, NSW Department of Primary Industries

“A reminder that when fishing in rivers, only one fish is permitted to be over 35 centimetres in length,” Mr Westaway said.

He said the department enforces the three-month closure annually as during their spawning season, the schools of fish can be vulnerable to fishing.

“The spawning period for Australian bass and estuary perch is finished at the end of winter, with most returning to their spring and summer feeding ground higher up in the catchment,” he said.

Information on freshwater fishing rules can be found in the NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide from DPI Fisheries offices, at fishing licence agents and bait and tackle shops, and online at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing

Fishing laws are designed to protect, conserve and improve fisheries resources for future generations.

People can report suspected illegal fishing to the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043-536.