Fishing limits

on 1 December 2016, South Australian fishing rules for 26 species changed. Go to the Recreational Fishing Rule Changes page to see the new rules.

The numbers of fish that live in our waters are limited and the popularity of recreational fishing in South Australia has meant that more people want a share of our fish stocks. To ensure the long term health of our fish stocks, it is critical that enough fish of each species remain in the water to reproduce and replace the numbers removed each year.

Use the menu below to find:

  • size
  • bag
  • boat
  • possession

limits that apply to marine and freshwater fish, molluscs, and crustaceans caught in South Australian waters.

Any species that:

do not have size or bag limit restrictions. You are encouraged to only take what you need for personal use.

Recreational fishers are not allowed to sell or trade their catch.

Fishing limit information is also available via the SA Recreational Fishing Guide app or 24-hour Fishwatch hotline on 1800 065 522 . Fishers can also SMS a fish name to 0427 767 995 and receive an immediate text response.

Jump to species

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More information

Abalone

Blacklip Abalone
Blacklip Abalone
Greenlip Abalone
Greenlip Abalone

Minimum legal length
  • Greenlip Abalone in the Western zone: 14.5 cm.
  • All other species in all other waters: 13 cm.

Measure Abalone across its widest points.

Personal daily bag limit:5. The limit is a combined total of both species.
Daily boat limit
  • For 2 or more people: a combined total of 10 Abalones.
  • For 1 person: a combined total of 5 Abalones.
Closed areasTaking of Abalone is prohibited in all:
Handling AbaloneThe diver must:
  • carry a suitable measuring device
  • measure abalone as soon as it has been removed from the surface it was attached to
  • returned immediately if it is undersized
  • bring the abalone above the high water mark before removing the meat.
 

Albacore

Albacore

Minimum legal length:No minimum legal length
Personal daily bag limit:2
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):6
 

Australian Herring - Tommy Ruff

Australian Herring - Tommy Rough

Minimum legal length: No minimum legal length required.
Personal daily bag limit: 40
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board): 120

Similarities with juvenile Salmon

Tommy Ruff look very similar to juvenile Salmon. Make sure you know the difference to make sure undersize Salmon are returned to the water.

 EyesScalesPectoral finTail
Juvenile Salmon small smooth yellow yellow, black edge
Australian Herring (Tommy Ruff) large rough clear/silver silver, black tips

Tommy v salmon

 

Black Cowrie

Black Cowrie

Minimum legal length:No minimum legal length
Personal daily bag limit: 1
 

Bloodworm

Bloodworm

Personal daily bag limit:4 litres
 

Blue Morwong - Queen Snapper

Blue Morwong - Queen Snapper

Minimum legal length:38 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:5
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):15
 

Blue Swimmer Crab

Blue Swimmer Crab

Minimum legal length:11 cm measured across the carapace from the base of the largest spines.
Personal daily bag limit:20 - combined limit with Sand Crabs
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):60 - combined limit with Sand Crabs
Restrictions:Females with external eggs are totally protected and must be returned to the water immediately.
 

Bream (all species)

Bream

Minimum legal length:30 cm from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:10
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):30
Closed Season:1 September to 30 November inclusive in the Onkaparinga River upstream of the Main South Road Bridge at Noarlunga
See closure information
 

Catfish - Hyrtl's & Silver Tandan

Catfish - Hyrtl's & Silver Tandan

Minimum legal length:No minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit:10
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):30
 

Congolli

Congolli

Minimum legal length:No minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit:2
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):6
 

Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish

Minimum legal length:No minimum length.
Personal daily bag limits:Either 15 Cuttlefish or a combined total of 15 Squid and Cuttlefish.
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):Either 45 Cuttlefish or a combined total of 45 Cuttlefish and Squid.
See closure information
 

Flathead (all species)

No results were found

Minimum legal length:30 cm measured from the tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:10
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):30
 

Flounder

Flounder

Minimum legal length:no minimum length.
Personal daily bag limit:20
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):60
 

Giant Crab

Giant Crab

Minimum legal length:15 cm measured from the top to bottom of the carapace.
Bag and boat limit:none.
Restrictions:Females with external eggs are totally protected and must be returned to the water immediately.
 

Golden Perch

Golden Perch

Minimum legal length:33 cm from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:5
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):15
 

Grunter

Grunter

Minimum legal length:no minimum length.
Personal daily bag limit:5
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):15
 

Gummy Shark

Gummy Shark

Minimum legal length:

45 cm measured from the 5th gill slit to the base of the tail.

Gummy Shark

Personal daily bag limit:combined total of 2 Gummy and School Sharks.
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):combined total of 6 Gummy and School Sharks.
Restrictions:It is illegal to fish for sharks (or any other fish) using a wire trace that is 2mm diameter or greater in conjunction with a hook sized 12/0 or greater.

More information

Recreational shark fishing restrictions.
 

Harlequin Fish (all species)

Harelquin Fish

Minimum legal length:No minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit:2
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):6
 

King George Whiting

King George Whiting

All waters east of longitude 136oE

Minimum legal length:32 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:10
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):30
Possession limit:

One of the following:

  • 72 fish
  • 10 kg of fillets
  • 36 fish and up to 5kg of fillets where a person has both fish and fillets.

All waters west of longitude 136oE

Minimum legal length:30 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:10
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):30
Possession limit:

One of the following:

  • 72 fish
  • 10 kg of fillets
  • 36 fish and up to 5kg of fillets where a person has both fish and fillets.

Closed areas: 1 May to 31 May in an area of southern Spencer Gulf, southern Gulf St Vincent and Investigator Strait. Go to closure location information.

 

Mullet

Mullet

Minimum legal length:21 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:60
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):180
 

Mulloway

Mulloway

Within the Coorong

Minimum legal length:46 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit for fish 46 to 75 cm:
Personal daily bag limit for fish more than 75 cm:
10
2
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board)
For fish 46 to 75 cm:
For fish more than 75 cm:

30
6

Outside Coorong waters and all other waters of the State

Minimum legal length:82 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail
Personal daily bag limit:2
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):6
 

Nannygai - Bight Redfish, Red Snapper, Swallowtail

Nannygai

Minimum legal length:30 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:10
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):30
 

Pipi - Goolwa cockle

Pipi

New rules for this species will become effective on 1 December 2016. Go to the Recreational Fishing Rule Changes page to see the new rules.


Goolwa Beach open to recreational Pipi fishing

Goolwa Beach reopens to Pipi fishing effective 23 November 2016.


Current limits

Minimum legal length: 3.5 cm measures across the widest part of the shell.
Personal daily bag limit:

west of longitude 136°E:

  • 100 pipi

east of longitude 136°E:

  • 300 pipi
Possession limit: 1200
Closed Season: 1 June to 31 October (inclusive)
Closed areas: recreational fishing for Pipis is prohibited on the Younghusband Peninsula (Coorong Beach) between the Murray Mouth and 28 Mile Crossing
 See closure information
 

Razorfish

Razorfish

Minimum legal length:no minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit:25
Possession limit:100
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):75
Closed season:1 October until the end of February each year in an area of Upper Spencer Gulf
 See closure information
 

Salmon (Western Australian)

Salmon (Western Australian)

Minimum legal length:21 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail
Personal daily bag limit
  • for Salmon 21 to 35 cm: 20
  • for Salmon longer than 35 cm: 10
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):
  • for Salmon 21 to 35 cm: 60
  • for Salmon longer than 35 cm: 30
Similarities with Australian Herring (Tommy Ruffs)Juvenile Salmon look very similar to Tommy Ruff. Make sure you know the difference to make sure undersize Salmon are returned to the water.

tommy and salmon

 EyesScalesPectoral finTail
Juvenile Salmon (Salmon trout)smallsmoothyellowyellow, black edge
Australian Herring (Tommy Ruff)largeroughclear/silversilver, black tips
 

Samsonfish

Samsonfish

Minimum legal length:88 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:1
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):3
 

Sand Crab

Sand Crab

Minimum legal length:10 cm measured across the carapace from side to side.
Personal daily bag limit:20 - combined with Blue Swimmer Crabs
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):60 - combined with Blue Swimmer Crabs
Restrictions:Females with external eggs are totally protected and must be returned to the water immediately.
 

Scallop

Scallop

Minimum legal length:6.5 cm measured across the widest dimension.
Personal daily bag limit:50
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):150
 

School Shark

School Shark

Minimum legal length:

45 cm measured from the 5th gill slit to the base of the tail.

Gummy

Personal daily bag limit:combined total of 2 Gummy and School Sharks.
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):combined total of 6 Gummy and School Sharks.
Restrictions:It is illegal to fish for sharks (or any other fish) using a wire trace that is 2mm diameter or greater in conjunction with a hook sized 12/0 or greater.
More informationRecreational shark fishing restrictions.
 

Sea Urchin

Sea Urchin

Minimum legal length:No minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit:20
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):60
 

Snapper

Juvenile Snapper
Juvenile Snapper
Female Snapper
Female Snapper
Male Snapper
Male Snapper

Minimum legal length: 38 cm
Personal daily bag limit:
  • Snapper 38 to 60 cm: 5
  • Snapper over 60 cm: 2
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):
  • Snapper 38 to 60 cm: 15
  • Snapper over 60 cm: 6
Closed season: Statewide midday 1 November to midday 15 December.
Closed areas: Midday 15 December to midday 31 January in the following areas. Go to closure information.
 

Snook

Snook

Minimum legal length:45 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:20
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):60
 

Southern Bluefin Tuna

Southern Bluefin Tuna

Minimum legal length:no minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit:Either 2 Southern Bluefin Tuna or a combined total of 2 Yellowfin and Southern Bluefin Tuna.
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):Either 6 Southern Bluefin Tuna or a combined total of 6 Yellowfin and Southern Bluefin Tuna.
 

Southern Calamari - Squid

Southern Calamari - Squid

Minimum legal length:no minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit:Either 15 Squid or a combined total of 15 Squid and Cuttlefish.
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):Either 45 Squid or a combined total of 45 Squid and Cuttlefish.
Closed area:The taking of all cephalopods (Squid, Cuttlefish and Octopus) is prohibited at all times in the waters of False Bay, Spencer Gulf, near Whyalla.
 

Southern Garfish

No results were found

Minimum legal length:23 cm measured from tip of the upper jaw to the tip of the tail.
Personal daily bag limit:30
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):90
 

Southern Rock Lobster

Southern Rock Lobster

Minimum legal length:

measured along the middle and on the top of the carapace (the main body shell) from the front edge of the groove between the antennae (frontal tubercule) to the rear edge of the carapace (but not including any hairs attached to the carapace). The measuring device used must be able to fit firmly into the groove between the antennae.

  • Northern zone: 10.5 cm.
  • Southern zone: 9.85 cm.
 

Map of zones (JPG 162.2 KB).

Personal daily bag limit:4 Rock Lobster per person, per day.
Daily boat limit:
  • 4 per day if taken by 1 person
  • 8 per day if taken by more than 1 person.
Handling your catchAll Rock Lobster taken by recreational fishers must have the middle tail fan clipped in half to a recognisable straight line before landing.
Restrictions:Females with external eggs are totally protected and must be returned to the water immediately.
Rock Lobster pots must be registered.
Closed areas:Closures
Closed season: Northern Zone
Southern Zone
More information

See closure information.
See lobster pot regulations.
Rock lobster brochure (PDF 388.0 KB).

 

Spangled Perch

Spangled Perch

Minimum legal length:No minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit:15
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):45
 

Sweep

Sweep

Minimum legal length: 24 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit: 20
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board): 60
 

Trevally (all species)

Trevally

Minimum legal length:24 cm
Personal daily bag limit:20
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):60
 

Trout - Rainbow and Brown

Trout

Minimum legal length:28 cm measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail.
Bag and boat limits:no bag or boat limit. Take only what you need.
 

Vongole - Mud Cockle

Vongole

Minimum legal length

Coffin Bay: 3.8 cm measures across the widest part of the shell.
All other waters: 3.0 cm measured across the widest part of the shell.

Personal daily bag limit:300
 See closure information
 

Western Blue Groper

Western Blue Groper

Minimum legal length: 60 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Maximum legal length: 100 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit: 1
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board): 3
Closures A closure applies at all times in both Gulfs, Investigator Strait and Backstairs Passage. Go to closure information.
 

Whaler Shark (Bronze & Dusky)

Whaler Shark

Minimum legal length:No minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit:1
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):3
 

Wrasse - All species in the Labridae Family excluding Western Blue Groper

Minimum legal length:
Maximum legal length:
25 cm
35 cm
Personal daily bag limit:5
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):15

More information: Note, these limits do not apply to Weed Whiting, which is considered part of the Odacidae Family in line with the Australian Fish Names Standard.

 

Yabby

Yabbie

Minimum legal length:no size limit.
Personal daily bag limit:200
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):600
Restrictions:Female yabbies carrying eggs are totally protected and must be returned to the water immediately.
 

Yellowfin Tuna

Yellow fin tuna

Limits were removed for Yellowfin Tuna on 1 December 2016.

 

Yellowfin Whiting

No results were found

Minimum legal length:24 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:20
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):60
 

Yellowtail Kingfish

Yellowtail Kingfish

Yellowtail Kingfish caught in the Spencer Gulf

Minimum legal length:45 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit
  • fish 45 to 60 cm: 10
  • fish over 60 cm: 1
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):
  • fish 45 to 60 cm: 30
  • fish over 60 cm: 3

Yellowtail Kingfish caught in all other waters

Minimum legal length:60 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:1
Daily boat limit (applies where 3 or more people on board):3
 
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