Fishers are being reminded that the annual zero bag limit closure for Australian Bass and Estuary Perch from all rivers and estuaries in NSW will commence on 1 May.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSWDPI) Senior Fisheries Manager Inland, Cameron Westaway, said the closure protects the fish species during their spawning period.
“During the winter months these popular native sports fish species become vulnerable to overfishing as they form large groups and migrate to parts of estuaries with the right salinity to trigger spawning,” Mr Westaway said.
“The zero bag limit protects the fish species while they spawn and ensures they can remain a popular catch with recreational fishers for many generations to come.”
Catch and release fishing for Australian Bass or Estuary Perch is permitted in rivers during the closure but any of these species of fish must be returned to the water immediately with the least possible harm.
“The zero bag limit does not apply to Australian Bass and Estuary Perch caught in freshwater dams or in rivers above impoundments, as they do not breed in these areas,” Mr Westaway said.
“No waters are closed to fishing and the zero bag limit does not affect anglers fishing for other estuary species, such as bream or flathead.”
Mr Westaway said fish in freshwater impoundments, like Glenbawn Dam and Glennies Creek Dam in the Hunter Valley, Brogo Dam near Bega and Clarrie Hall and Toonumbar Dams in the northeast are stocked fisheries, meaning anglers may continue to fish for these species in those waters all year round.
The zero bag limit ends on September 1, and Fisheries Officers will target anglers illegally retaining Australian Bass or Estuary Perch during the four month closure.