Changes to recreational fishing rules

Thursday 03 November 2016
Changes to recreational fishing rules

2 November 2016

The State Government today announced new rules for recreational fishing in South Australia which includes changes to fishing limits for 26 species, and a ban on catching King George Whiting for the month of May in areas of Spencer Gulf, Gulf St Vincent and Investigator Strait. 

The changes to legal limits and management arrangements come into effect from 1 December 2016.

Key changes include:

  • Reduced bag/boat limits for Garfish, Samsonfish, Western Blue Groper, large Yellowtial Kingfish, Australian Herring (Tommy Ruff), Scallops and Blue Swimmer Crab/Sand Crabs.
  • Increased size limits for Bream, Mulloway (marine waters) and Samsonfish;
  • Reduced bag/boat limit for Snapper in Spencer Gulf'
  • Increased bag/boat limit for Spangled Perch;
  • Introduction of recreational limits for Albacore, Whaler Sharks, Congolli, Bloodworms, Sea urchin, Travally, Wrasse and Harlequin Fish;
  • Introduction of a vehicle limit on Pipi and boat limits for Mulloway in the Coorong and Yabbies;
  • Simplified limits on Hyrtl's Tandan Catfish;
  • Removal of  limits on Yellowfin Tuna and protection for Cooper Creek Catfish.

New arrangements for the State's most iconic and popular species, King George Whiting, are:

  • Introduction of a spatial spawning closure for King George Whiting 1-31 May in an area of southern Spencer Gulf, southern Gulf St Vincent and Investigator Strait to protect this key spawning area during a critical reproductive period, where the taking and possession of King George Whiting by all fishers will be prohibited
  • Reduced State-wide daily bag limit to 10 and boat limit to 30 (previously 12 and 36)
  • Increased legal minimum size limit to 43 cm in all waters East of Cape Catastrophe on the tip of the Eyre Peninsula at 136 degrees E (previously 31 cm). West of this point, the size limit will remain at 30 cm

For more details visit

Fishers are also reminded that the annual fishing closure for Snapper in South Australia began at midday on 1 November 2016.

This closure will run until midday on Thursday 15 December for all fishing sectors. During this time, fishers are prohibited from targeting and taking snapper in all South Australian waters.

When the Snappper fishing re-opens in mid-December, five smaller scale spawning spatial closures in Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent will again come into effect - from midday on 15 December 2016 to midday on 31 January 2017 - to provide additional protection to Snapper at key aggregation sites.