Fishing gear for fresh waters

This section applies to freshwater fishing gear only. For information on tidal fishing gear, see Fishing gear for tidal waters .

Why are there restrictions on fishing gear?

Restrictions to fishing gear protect fish stocks from overfishing.

General conditions

While fishing in fresh water a person must not use at one time more than four canister traps, four collapsible traps, four dillies, four funnel traps or four round traps, or more than four of these traps in any combination.

No age limit applies to fishing in Queensland but children should be of an age where they can be responsible for the use of their own fishing gear. In freshwater areas, fish may only be caught using:

  • a fishing line that consists of a hand-held line with or without a pole, reel or rod
  • a trap that can be a canister trap, collapsible trap, dilly trap, funnel trap or round trap
  • a scoop or dip net (cast nets and bait nets cannot be used).

Marking traps

All freshwater traps must have a tag on the trap showing the owner´s surname and address. If the trap is not fixed to something stationary above the water level while being used, it must have a solid light coloured float attached.

The float must feature the owner´s surname and be at least 15 cm in each of its dimensions.

Fishing lines

A person must not set a fishing line as a cross-line or use more than six fishing lines. Only one hook or an artificial fly or lure can be attached to a fishing line. Fishers must be no more than 50 m from any of their fishing lines.

Line drawing of fishing reels, canister trap and scoop net

Freshwater fishing gear: Reels, scoop net and canister trap.

Scoop or dip nets

A scoop or dip net must not exceed 1 m in any dimension, with a handle no longer than 2.5 m and a mesh size of no more than 25 mm.

Canister traps

A canister trap must be no longer than 60 cm and no more than 50 cm in width, height or diameter. The trap must be open at one end. The width, height or diameter of the trap-measured anywhere along its length-must not be more than the width, height or diameter of the trap´s open end. If the trap does not have a mesh made of rigid material, the size of the mesh must be no more than 25 mm.

Collapsible traps

Line drawing of a collapsible fishing trap

Collapsible trap

A collapsible trap must be made of rigid material with one or more collapsible sides.

Dilly nets

A dilly net must have a diameter of no more than 125 cm and a mesh size of no more than 25 mm.

Funnel traps

Line drawing of a funnel trap

Funnel trap.

Line drawing of funnel (opera house) trap

Funnel (opera house) trap.

A funnel trap must be no longer than 70 cm or no more than 50 cm in width or height. The trap entrance must be made of rigid material. If the trap does not have a mesh made of rigid material, the size of the mesh must be no more than 25 mm.

The use of certain funnel traps east of a line following the Great Dividing Range and east of the Gore Highway (Highway 39) is prohibited outside of certain impoundments (see map).

This means that:

  • funnel traps with a rigid opening size of up to 5 cm maximum in all its dimensions can be used in all non-tidal waters
  • funnel traps with a rigid opening size between 5 cm and 10 cm can only be used in listed impoundments east of a line following the Great Dividing Range and south of the Gore Highway (Highway 39) or in non-tidal waters west of the aforementioned boundary.

Round traps

In freshwater, round traps must be no longer than 70 cm in diameter or no more than 50 cm in height. Traps must have no more than four entrances.

If the trap does not have a mesh made of rigid material, the size of the mesh must be no more than 25 mm.

The use of certain round traps east of a line following the Great Dividing Range and east of the Gore Highway (Highway 39) is prohibited outside of certain impoundments (see map).

This means that:

  • round traps with a rigid opening size of up to 5 cm maximum in all its dimensions can be used in all non-tidal waters
  • round traps with a rigid opening size between 5 cm and 10 cm can only be used in listed impoundments east of a line following the Great Dividing Range and south of the Gore Highway (Highway 39) or in non-tidal waters west of the aforementioned boundary.

Open top pyramid traps

Open top pyramid traps can be used in all Queensland freshwaters provided they have:

  • a single, rigid top opening, parallel to the base of the trap with a minimum size of 15 cm in all its dimensions
  • a mesh size of no more than 25 mm
  • a maximum base size of 60 cm in length and width
  • a minimum height of 15 cm (measured in a vertical line from the base of the trap to the height of the opening).

Examples of prohibited fishing gear

  • Set lines
  • Floatlines
  • All forms of nets except landing nets and scoop or dip nets
  • Fish traps
  • Drum nets
  • Cross-lines
  • Spears and spear guns

Related information

Last updated 13 February 2015