Changes to recreational fishing rules

A number of changes have been made to Queensland fishing rules – these new rules commenced on September 1, 2019.

Please note: Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol will not immediately issue fines for non-compliance with these changes. For the first few months, the focus will be on education and awareness.

Size limits

  • Pearl perch – increased from 35 cm to 38 cm
  • King threadfin – increased from 60 cm to 65 cm on the east coast
  • Mary River cod – increased from 50 cm to 60 cm
  • Murray cod – 110 cm maximum limit removed

Possession limits

  • Mud crab – reduced from 10 to 7
  • Boat limits for mud crab, prawns, snapper, black jewfish, barramundi, shark, Spanish mackerel, sea cucumber and tropical rock lobster – 2 times the possession limit
  • Pearl perch – reduced from 5 to 4
  • Tropical rocklobster – limit of 5 applies in all Queensland waters
  • Blue swimmer crab – reduced from no limit to 20
  • Mollusc and gastropod (including pipis) – reduced from 50 to 30
  • General limit of 20 for all species without a possession limit (excluding some bait species) – e.g. you can only have 20 butter bream in your possession, as this fish doesn’t have its own prescribed possession limit.
  • No limit for following bait species – southern herring, common hardyhead, Australian sardine, Australian anchovy, silver biddy, saltwater yabby, soldier crab and non-regulated worms
  • Limit of 50 for following bait species – mullet (excluding diamondscale, sea and freshwater mullet), cuttlefish or squid (excluding tiger squid), smooth-clawed rock crab and yellowtail pike
  • Hammerhead sharks and white teatfish – no take
  • Oysters (excluding pearl oysters) must be eaten on the spot where they are taken (pearl oysters can be taken away from the site – must be correct size)
  • Australian bass – increased from 2 to 5 in dams and weirs under the Stocked Impoundment Permit scheme
  • Cribb Island worm (formerly known as blood worm) – limit of 50
  • Mary River cod – limit of 1 in stocked impoundments expanded to include Wyaralong Dam, Ewen Maddock Dam, Caboolture River Weir, Robina Lakes, Lake Kurwongbah, Enoggera Reservoir and Lake Manchester


  • Snapper and pearl perch seasonal closure – July 15 to August 15 each year
  • Closed waters prohibit take of black jewfish within 200 m from the Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay coal terminals
  • Standardised start and end times for most fishery closures – midnight to midnight
  • Tinana Creek and its tributaries upstream of Teddington Weir wall closed to all forms of fishing
  • Murray cod seasonal closure – August 1 to October 31 each year


  • Recreational crab apparatus and freshwater traps must be marked with the surname and address of the person using the apparatus
  • Mulloway and scaly jewfish must be kept whole while on board a vessel
  • Black jewfish will become a no-take species for all sectors when the total allowable commercial catch is reached. @FisheriesQueensland ‘Qld Fishing’ app 13 25 23

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