QLD Fishing Rules

Fishing in Australian salt and fresh waters is governed by state rules and regulations and must be strictly followed as these laws are in place to ensure fisheries are ecologically sustainable. This guide touches on the rules and regulations for recreational fishing in Queensland.


Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) employs over 3000 staff in over 150 locations across the State. The department supports the profitability and sustainability of Queensland's fisheries through a variety of services including educating and protecting the community, issuing fishing licences and permits, enforcement, and research and surveying.


Please use this article as a guide only and take the time to find out more about recreational fishing rules and regulations in Queensland.

Recreational Fishing in QLD

The government of Queensland has focused strongly on its freshwater and tidal water fishing rules and regulations, protected fish species as well as the prevention and control of noxious fish species. Recreational anglers do not require a license to fish in Queensland, except if fishing in some stocked impoundments.

Protected Species

There are many aquatic species that are protected throughout Queensland and are prohibited from being in anyone’s possession without a permit. Some of these include: female mud and blue swimmer crabs, black teatfish, and certain lobster and clam species. There are also aquatic species that are totally prohibited and if accidently caught, must be immediately and carefully returned to the water. Some of these include: Bloomfield River Cod, Lungfish, River blackfish, Barramundi cod, Potato Cod, Red bass, Queensland grouper, Paddletail and Chinaman fish.

Bag Limit and Possession Limit

A take and possession limit is the total number of fish a person may take or possess at any one time and these legal limits apply to fish taken in Queensland waters. You must be aware that there are minimum size limits and also some maximum size limits. Bag limits are issued to conserve heavily exploited species and species that are susceptible to capture, share the catch equally, reduce illegal marketing of fish and to send out an ethical message for responsible fishing.

For a comprehensive list, click: Bag and size limits - fresh waters (Dept of Primary Industries & Fisheries or Bag and size limits - tidal waters (Dept of Primary Industries & Fisheries

Fishing Closures

There are two types of closures for freshwater and saltwater fishing and these are seasonal closures and area closures. Closed seasons prevent people from fishing at certain times of the year. It is needed to protect species during spawning which is a vulnerable time in their life cycle. Two species that are most vulnerable and therefore protected from seasonal closures is the Australian bass and the Barramundi. Area closures on the other hand are needed to prevent people from fishing in a certain area. Closure may be enforced in areas where a population of endangered or threatened species live, where fish go during spawning and/or the area is part of a protected marine park to name a few. For a comprehensive list, click Closed waters - freshwater areas (Dept of Primary Industries & Fisheries or Closed waters - tidal waters (Dept of Primary Industries & Fisheries

More Fishing Rules

There are many rules and prohibitions for recreational anglers and they must be followed. Included is the taking of fish for the purpose of selling - which other than by licenced fishers is strictly prohibited in Queensland. For more information, click Sale of fish and other prohibitions (Dept of Primary Industries & Fisheries

Noxious fish

Non-indigenous fish and other aquatic species that are introduced into Queensland’s waterways can pose a significant threat to native species. Noxious or non-indigenous fish may compete with native species, reduce their numbers and affect their habitat. People must not possess a declared noxious fish, sell, breed, keep or place in any container. If a declared noxious fish is caught, the fish must be immediately killed and must not be returned back into the water, live or dead or used as bait. The three most top banned noxious species include Tilapia, carp and gambusia. For a full list, click Noxious fish

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