Closures - Fiund out about the area and seasonal fishing closures that apply in SA

Changes to recreational rock lobster devices - Northern Zone
New arrangements are in place for recreational rock lobster devices used in the Northern Zone of the rock lobster fishery.
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Frequently asked questions
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Goolwa Beach Pipi Fishing closure
Goolwa Beach has been closed to recreational fishing for Pipi (Goolwa Cockles) until midnight 31 May 2014 due to concerns over Diarrhetic Shellfish toxin levels in the Pipi.
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View map of closure (JPG 965.1 KB)

SA Marine Parks: Commercial Fisheries Voluntary Catch/Effort Reduction Program
The offer period for licence holders to surrender licence and/or entitlements is now closed.
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Port River Mud Cockle closure
The Port River Mud Cockle fishing closure has been extended until 30 June 2015 due to ongoing concerns about sustainability.
Map of closure area
Frequently asked questions
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Snapper spawning spatial closures
New Snapper spawning spatial closures will come into effect on 15 December 2013.
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Map of closures
Frequently asked questions

Changes to commercial and recreational Blue Swimmer Crab fishing limits
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Frequently asked questions
Map of reduction area

Fish mortalities response
Latest update available now

Spencer Gulf Cuttlefish closure
Cuttlefish fishing in northern Spencer Gulf has been closed until 14 February 2015.
Frequently asked questions

Map of closure area

Recreational shark fishing restrictions
Restrictions on targeted recreational shark fishing in metropolitan waters have been updated.
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Redmap launches in SA
Redmap is a new and interactive website, that invites the Australian community to spot, log and map marine species that are uncommon in Australia, or along particular parts of our coast.
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Recreational fishing possession limits begin
Recreational fishing possession limits are now in place in South Australia, limiting the amount of King George Whiting, Pipi and Razorfish that recreational fishers can catch and stockpile.
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King George Whiting

King George whiting has a silvery body, which is dusky yellow above and has irregular oblique rows of small bronze or brown spots on the back and upper sides. It is the largest of all species of whiting.

Sillaginodes punctata


King George Whiting overview

The King George Whiting is one of South Australia’s most important food fishes, comprising approximately 27 per cent of the total annual commercial catch of inshore fishes. Studies on the recreational fishery also indicate that King George Whiting is one of the most important species sought by boat anglers.

The eating quality of King George Whiting is renowned throughout Australia. It is a fish with a delicate flavour and texture. One of its prime qualities is that it retains its flavour after being frozen.

What do they look like?

King George Whiting has a silvery body, which is dusky yellow above and has irregular oblique rows of small bronze or brown spots on the back and upper sides. It is the largest of all species of whiting.

Where are they found?

The King George Whiting is found throughout South Australian coastal waters but is most abundant in the waters of the Gulfs and Investigator Strait, and in the sheltered bays of the west coast of South Australia.

Life cycle

Spawning takes place in April through June in mainly offshore areas. The water currents then carry the fertilised eggs and larvae into sheltered bays of mangrove tidal creeks and seagrass areas. Undersize fish are most numerous in the tidal channels and tagging has shown that their movements are not extensive at this stage of their lifecycle.

During the summer months, when water temperatures are relatively warm, growth is rapid and most fish reach a size of about 28cm, when about two to three years old. Areas where King George Whiting is caught at this time include Kangaroo Island, Coffin Bay, West Coast bays and Southern gulf waters.

By the time the fish have reached 35cm (three to four years of age) most have moved out from the bays, progressively moving into deeper offshore waters as adult fish. They can reach a maximum length of 70cm, weigh up to 2.5kg, with a maximum age of fourteen to fifteen years.

Aquatic reserves such as those at Barker Inlet, Pelican Lagoon (American River), Yatala Harbour, Blanch Harbour, Whyalla and St. Kilda were established to protect nursery areas of the King George Whiting. The taking of King George Whiting is prohibited in Pelican Lagoon, Yatala Harbour, Whyalla and St. Kilda.

More information about aquatic reserves.

Feeding habits

Most King George Whiting taken on handlines are caught during the day, indicating that they are visual feeders. Their mouths are relatively small and are adapted to sucking up such bottom organisms as polychaete worms, bivalve molluscs (cockles) and small crustaceans. They will readily accept bait such as cockles, marine worms or strips of squid.

Catch limits and legal lengths

The recreational fishery is regulated through size limits, bag and boat limits. The legal minimum length of King George Whiting is set so that most fish will have the chance to reach their most productive size. With the protection of size limits, small fish are allowed past the gauntlet of fishers, to spawn in offshore areas. This allows the replenishment of the species, which in turn allows adequate access to the resource for all fishers. Bag limits are also a management measure for protecting and maintaining fish stocks, as this restricts the number of fish taken by fishers.

King George Whiting

Map of zones for King George Whiting fishing

Click map to enlarge

Type of fish
Marine
Common name
King George Whiting
Scientific name
Sillaginodes punctata

All waters east of longitude 136o

(runs through Cape Catastrophe just south of Port Lincoln) including all waters of Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent

Minimum legal length31 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail
Personal daily bag limit12
Daily boat limit36
Possession limitSix times the bag limit (72 fish) or 10kg of fillets OR where a person has possession of both fish and fillets – three times the bag limit (36 fish) or 5kg of fillets

All waters west of longitude 136o

Minimum legal length30 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail
Personal daily bag limit12
Daily boat limit36
Possession limitSix times the bag limit (72 fish) or 10kg of fillets OR where a person has possession of both fish and fillets – three times the bag limit (36 fish) or 5kg of fillets
Species information

More information about King George Whiting