The annual zero bag limit for Australian Bass and Estuary Perch from all rivers and estuaries in NSW is now in play – so head to Brogo Dam instead!
NSW Department of Primary Industries Senior Fisheries Manager Inland, Cameron Westaway, says the closure protects 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 says.
“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 says.
“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 says 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, Mr Westaway says Fisheries Officers will target anglers illegally hanging on to Australian Bass or Estuary Perch during the four-month closure.