Warning: new fishing limits come into effect in November

REVISED bag limits come into effect on November 3, halving the permissible numbers of some popular local food fish.

The bag limit has been reduced from 20 to 10 for all flathead species, bream/tarwhine, tailor, all trevally, luderick and blue swimmer crabs.

The possession limit of 20 will remain for these species - you can have 10 in the bag and 10 at home.

This enables inland visitors and other fishing vacationers to visit the coast and still take home a good feed, or locals and visitors to take advantage of times of plenty, such as mackerel season.

Previously the 10-fish flathead limit applied only to duskies, while sand flathead, tigers and other plentiful offshore flathead had a limit of 20. Existing size limits remain - 36cm for duskies, 33cm others.

Crabbers should note that from November 3 they will be permitted to use two traps per person, but the legal number of witch's hat/hoop net/dillies has been reduced to four.

The thinking behind the reduction in hoop nets is to limit undesirable impacts on non-target species and 'ghost netting' from lost gear.

Each piece of crabbing gear must now be marked with trap type (WH for witch's hat, CT for crab trap), the crabber's initial and surname, year of birth and postcode.

The bag limit for small baitfish such as herring, slimy mackerel and yellowtail will be lifted to 100 per species.

The bass spawning closure will now run from May 1 to September 1 but catch and release fishing is permitted.

Murray cod season closed on September 1 and when the season opens on December 1, there will be 60-80cm slot limit only.

In other changes, the transfer of fish from one vessel to another while not in port or at a boat ramp will become illegal.

This move has been introduced to help reduce black marketing and bag limit infringements. There might well be a few local fishers, recreational and commercial, who could fall foul of this law down the track.

A three-month 'advisory period' will enable every-one to learn the new rules.



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