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Recreational Fishing Guidelines for Queensland, Australia

REEF FISH: Possession Limit

A person must not take or possess more of each species of fish as indicated above, nor have more than combined total of 30 of the reef fish marked *, or 60 fillets. Any combination of whole fish and fillets must not exceed the equivalent of 30 whole fish. Two (2) fillets equal (1) whole fish.

The skin must not be removed from any fish or fillets while on board a boat. Once brought ashore, the skin may be removed. Once the skin is removed the fish cannot be returned to the boat. Special provisions apply to removing the skin from fish taken by fishers on extended fishing charter tours.

TORRES STRAIT: In possession Limit
(For a full description of the area this section refers to see Fisheries Regulation 1995.)
Limit refers to Tropical Spiny Rock Lobster Panulirus spp
Total in possession per person...............................3 max
Total on board a boat.............................................6 max

PRAWNS: In possession Limit
A recreational fisher must not take or possess more than a total of 10 litres of prawns. A recreational fisher must not possess prawns if more than 10 prawns have had their heads or any other part removed, unless the removal was to process the prawns for immediate consumption.

The following species are protected throughout Queensland and are therefore prohibited from being in anyone's possession without a permit:

  • Female Mud Crabs and Blue Swimming Crabs, Spanner Crabs
  • Egg bearing female Spanner Crabs, Slipper Lobsters, Moreton Bay Bugs and other Sea Bugs
  • Great White and Grey Nurse Sharks
  • Whales, Porpoises, Dugong, Turtles and Dolphins are all protected under the Nature Conservation Act


Male mud 15cm minimum, Blue swimmer crabs 11.5cm minimum. Spanner crab 10cm

A person must not possess:-

  • mud or blue swimmer crabs with the carapace (shell) missing
  • crabmeat of any species;  unless the crab with a missing shell or the crabmeat is for immediate consumption.



To see a clear photo of identification see - Male & Female Crab Identification

It is illegal to possess, rear, sell, buy or bring into Queensland NOXIOUS fisheries resources. Tilapia and Carp (European, Koi and Mirror Carp) are declared NOXIOUS FISH and must not be released into Queensland waters and must not be used as bait.
Other NOXIOUS FISH include Piranhas and Walking Catfish. All NOXIOUS fish when caught must not be returned to the water. For further information telephone the Queensland Department of Primary Industries on 13 25 23

Lines -
hand lines and rods with up to 6 hooks on each line are permitted. When fishing from a boat no more than 3 lines are permitted per person. An artificial fly or lure is deemed to be equal to one hook.

Crab Pots or Dillies - up to 4 crab pots or dillies (or a combination of pots and dillies) may be used per person. When fishing for Mud Crabs and Blue Swimmer Crabs a person in possession of the apparatus must be at least 15 years old. Crab pots and dillies must be marked by an identifying tag bearing the surname and address of the owner. When not fixed to something they must have attached a light coloured surface float, not less than 15 cm in any dimension, with the name of the owner clearly inscribed on it.

Cast Nets - are now to be more than 3.7 metres when measured from the point of attachment from the point of attachment of the cord or rope to the rest of the net, to the net lead-line or bottom of the lowest pocket of the net, whichever is greater. (see diagram).

Bait Nets (seine net) - a bait net may only be used by a person under 15 years old if supervised by someone older than 15 years old. The net must not exceed 16m in length, 3m in drop and must have a mesh size no greater than 28mm. The net must not contain a bag, pocket or device of like construction. The use of the net is subject to the following conditions:  

  • It must not be anchored, staked or fixed
  • No part of the net containing fish must be out of the water other than to immediately remove fish
  • All regulation fish and fish not intended to be taken must be released into water deep enough to allow the fish to escape.

Scoop or Dip Nets - a scoop or a dip net must not exceed 2m in any dimension, with a handle not longer than 2.5m and a mesh size of at least 25mm is permitted. A gaff or landing net may be used to secure line-caught fish.

Shell Dredges - for amateur shell collecting, conditions apply. Interested persons need to check details in Fisheries Regulation 1995.

Hand Pump - a hand pump may be used in tidal waters or on foreshores to take any Yabbies that are not regulated fish.

Worm Digging Fork - a worm digging fork may be used in tidal waters or on foreshores to take any worms that are not regulated fish.

Spear/Spear Guns - are permitted in some tidal waters, (see spear fishing section). A power head is not permitted. Underwater breathing apparatus other than a snorkel are not permitted to be used to take fish.

Deception Bay
Foreshores between the public ramp at Emerald Avenue, Deception Bay and the seaward end of Reef Point Esplanade, Castlereagh Point, Scarborough, but not including a waterway flowing into the area upstream of a line between its banks.

Nudgee Beach
Bramble Bay foreshores at Nudgee Beach between the eastern bank of the main channel of Nudgee Creek and western bank of the main channel of the Kedron Brook floodway, but not including the foreshores of Nudgee Creek or Kedron Brook floodway upstream of a straight line between its banks.

Foreshores of Moreton Bay and the boat passage, between the south eastern tip of Fisherman island and the northern breakwater of the Manly Boat Harbour, but not including foreshores west of the road bridge over the boat passage and upstream of a line between the banks of a waterway.

Continue to page [1[2] [3] possession limits




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