The following rules for recreational fishing in Queensland have been in place since 1 September 2011.
Size, take and possession limits for fresh waters
The following legal limits apply to fish taken in Queensland waters. A take and possession limit is the total number of fish a person may take or possess at any one time.
|Species||Legal size limit (cm)||Take and possession limit|
|Australian bass*||30 min||2|
|Australian lungfish||-||No take|
|East Coast||58 min 120 max (one greater than 120 cm from some dams)||
5 (one during closed season |
for some dams)
|Gulf of Carpentaria||58 min 120 max (one greater than 120 cm from some dams)||5 (one during closed season for some dams)|
|Cherabins||No limit||Combined limit of 10 in total of both species: Macrobrachium lar and M. rosenbergii|
|Bloomfield River cod||No take|
|Mary River cod - Upstream of the walls of Cressbrook, Hinze, Maroon, Moogerah, North Pine, Somerset and Wivenhoe dams and lakes Dyer (Bill Gunn Dam) and Clarendon||50 min||1|
|Mary River cod - elsewhere in Queensland||-||No take|
|Murray cod# (Queensland part of Murray-Darling Drainage Division)||60 min 110 max||2|
|Longfin||30 min||Combined limit|
|Pacific shortfin (south Pacific)||30 min||of 10 in total|
|Southern shortfin||30 min||of all eel species|
|Freshwater catfish (eel-tailed catfish) (Tandanus tandanus)||35 min||Combined limit of 5 in total of fish in the genera Neosilurus, Tandanus and Neosiluroides (e.g. black, Cooper Creek, eel-tailed, false spine, shortfinned catfish and Hyrtl's tandan)|
|Freshwater sawfish||-||No take|
|Mangrove jack||35 min||5|
|Molluscs (excluding oysters)||No limit||50|
|Perch and grunter|
|Golden perch (yellowbelly)||30 min||10|
|Jungle perch||35 max||Combined limit of 1 in total of jungle perch and spotted flagtail|
|Spotted flagtail (northern jungle perch)||35 max||Combined limit of 1 in total of jungle perch and spotted flagtail|
|Silver perch||30 min||Combined limit of 5 in total for silver perch, Welch's grunter and Barcoo grunter. Silver perch in Paroo and Warrego River basins are catch and release only|
|Barcoo grunter||30 min||Combined limit of 5 in total for silver perch, Welch's grunter and Barcoo grunter|
|Welch's grunter||30 min||Combined limit of 5 in total for silver perch, Welch's grunter and Barcoo grunter|
|Sooty grunter||28 min||Combined limit of 10 in total for sooty grunter and khaki grunter|
|Khaki grunter (Khaki bream)||No limit||Combined limit of 10 in total for sooty grunter and khaki grunter|
|Rainbow fish (Melanotaenia sp.)||No limit||20 per species|
|Redclaw (redclaw crayfish in its natural range)|
|Gulf of Carpentaria Drainage Division and from the Jacky Jacky River basin south to the Normanby River basin on the east coast of Queensland||No limit||40 (females carrying eggs or young must be returned to the water within their natural range)|
|River blackfish||-||No take|
|Northern||50 min||Combined limit of 1 in total of northern and southern saratoga|
|Southern||50 min||Combined limit of 1 in total of northern and southern saratoga|
|Sea mullet||30 min||20|
|Spiny crayfish||-||No take|
|Yabby or blueclaw crayfish|
|Yabby or blueclaw crayfish (cherax destructor)||No limit||100 (females carrying eggs or young must be returned to the water within their natural range)|
*A closed season applies to these species.
#Murray cod cannot be taken from the Barwon, Macintyre or Dumaresq rivers from 1 September to 30 November. See Closed waters - freshwater areas for more information on closed waters in Queensland.
|The following freshwater species have a take and possession limit of 20|
|Aggassiz's glassfish (perchlet)||Aru gudgeon||Australian smelt||Banded grunter (barred grunter)||Blackmast (strawman)|
|Blue catfish (lessor salmon catfish)||Bony bream||Boofhead catfish (triangular shield catfish)||Celebes flathead goby|
|Coal grunter||Concave flathead goby||Delicate blueeye||Desert goby||Elongate glassfish (yellowfin perchlet)|
|Empire gudgeon||Fimbriate gudgeon||Firetail gudgeon||Flagtail gudgeon (flagtail perchlet)||Flathead gudgeon (bigheaded gudgeon)|
|Flyspecked hardyhead||Freshwater longtom||Gilbert's grunter||Golden flathead goby||Golden goby (dwarf goby)|
|Highfin catfish (Berney's catfish)||Lake's carp gudgeon||Leathery grunter||Lorentz's grunter||Macleay's glassfish (reticulated perchlet)|
|Marjorie's hardyhead||Midgley's carp gudgeon||Mueller's glassfish||Mulgrave goby||Northern purplespotted gudgeon (trout gudgeon)|
|Obbes' catfish||Pacific blue eye||Penny fish||Poreless gudgeon|
|Rendahl's catfish||Roman nose goby||Sailfin glassfish (sailfin perchlet)||Scaleless goby||Sevenspot archer fish (common archer fish)|
|Silver catfish (silver tandan)||Silver cobbler (shovel nosed catfish)||Sleepy cod||Small headed grunter||Snakehead gudgeon|
|Southern purplespotted gudgeon||Spangled perch||Speckled goby||Spotted blueeye||Square blotch goby|
|Striped gudgeon||Tank goby (flathead goby)||Western carp gudgeon|
- Australian lungfish
- Bloomfield River cod
- Freshwater sawfish
- River blackfish
- Spiny crayfish
- Mary River cod - no take except upstream of some dams
Why do we have size limits?
In Queensland, there are limits on the size of fish that can be legally taken for many species. There are minimum size limits and also some maximum size limits.
Size limits are typically based on biological research into each species' reproductive cycles. Minimum size limits generally allow fish to spawn at least once and contribute to the population before they are taken.
However, in some species larger individuals contribute more to the population, which is why maximum size limits apply. For example, most barramundi begin their lives as males and later, as they grow larger, become females. A maximum size limit is applied to protect large females and to allow them to spawn.
Why do we have possession limits?
A possession limit refers to the total number of fish an individual can legally take and have in their possession at any one time - it does not apply on a per day basis. This includes the fish you have caught previously that are in your freezer at home.
These limits serve several purposes. They:
- conserve heavily exploited species
- conserve species that are susceptible to capture
- share the catch more equitably among anglers
- reduce the illegal marketing of fish
- send out a message promoting ethical and responsible behaviour when using a limited natural resource.