Fishing limits

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 search:

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  • boat
  • possession

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

Any species that are not listed 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.

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More information

Abalone

abaloneabalone


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 areas
Taking of Abalone is prohibited in all:
Handling Abalone
The 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.
 

Australian Herring - Tommy Ruff

Australian Herring

Minimum legal length:No minimum legal length required.
Personal daily bag limit:60
Daily boat limit180

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.


Eyes
Scales
Pectoral fin
Tail
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

 

Blue Morwong - Queen Snapper

Blue Morwong

Minimum legal length:38 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:5
Daily boat limit:15

 

Blue Swimmer Crab

Blue Crab

Minimum legal length:11 cm measured across the carapace from the base of the largest spines.
Personal daily bag limit:
  • Gulf of Saint Vincent: 20. Limit is effective until 30 June 2016
  • All other waters: Combined total of 40 Blue Swimmer and Sand Crabs.
Daily boat limit
  • Gulf of Saint Vincent: 60. Limit is effective until 30 June 2016.
  • All other waters: A combined total of 120 Blue Swimmer and Sand Crabs.
Restrictions:Females with external eggs are totally protected and must be returned to the water immediately.

More information

View Gulf St Vincent Blue Swimmer Crab map (JPG 1.2 MB)
More information about crab fishing (PDF 271.2 KB)

 

Bream (all species)

bream

Minimum legal length:28 cm from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:10
Daily boat limit:30
Closed Season:1 September to 30 November inclusive on the Onkaparinga River upstream of the Main South Road Bridge at Noarlunga
See closure information

 

Cooper Creek Catfish

Cooper creek catfish

Minimum legal length:no minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit
  • catfish up to 33 cm in length: 10
  • catfish over 33 cm in length: 2
Daily boat limit
  • catfish up to 33 cm in length: 30
  • catfish over 33 cm in length: 6.
See protected species information.
 

 

Cuttlefish

cuttlefish

Minimum legal length:No minimum length.
Personal daily bag limits:A combined total of 15 squid and cuttlefish.
Daily boat limit:A combined total of 45 cuttlefish and squid.
See closure information

 

Flathead (all species)

flathead

Minimum legal length:30 cm measured from the tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:10
Daily boat limit:30

 

Flounder

Flounder

Minimum legal length:no minimum length.
Personal daily bag limit:20
Daily boat limit: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

callop

Minimum legal length:33 cm from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:5
Daily boat limit:15

 

Grunter

Grunter
Minimum legal length:no minimum length.
Personal daily bag limit:5
Daily boat limit: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: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.

 

King George Whiting

King George Whiting

 King George Whiting Map

 

All waters east of longitude 136o

Minimum legal length:

31 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:12
Daily boat limit:36
Possession limit

One of the following:

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

All waters west of longitude 136o

Minimum legal length:30 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:12
Daily boat limit:36
Possession limit

One of the following:

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

 

Mud Cockle

Mud Cockle

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

 

Mullet

Mullet

Minimum legal length:21 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:60
Daily boat limit:180

 

Mulloway

Mulloway

Within the Coorong, including the channel of the Murray Mouth

Minimum legal length:46 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit for fish 46 to 75 cm:10
Personal daily bag limit for fish more than 75 cm:2

Outside Coorong waters and all other waters of the State

Minimum legal length:75 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail
Personal daily bag limit:2
Daily boat limit: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:
30

 

Pipi - Goolwa cockle

Pipi
Minimum legal length:
3.5 cm measures across the widest part of the shell.
Personal daily bag limit:
  • west of longitude 136°E: 100
  • east of longitude 136°E: 300
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:
75
Closed season:
1 October until the end of February each year in an area of Upper Spencer Gulf

See closure information
 

Salmon (Australian)

Salmon

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
Personal daily boat limit
  • 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


Eyes
Scales
Pectoral fin
Tail
Juvenile Salmon (Salmon trout)
small
smooth
yellow
yellow, black edge
Australian Herring (Tommy Ruff)
large
rough
clear/silver
silver, black tips

 

Samsonfish

Samson fish
Minimum legal length:
75 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:
2
Daily boat limit:
6
 

Sand Crab

sand crab
Minimum legal length:10 cm measured across the carapace from side to side.
Personal daily bag limit
  • Gulf of Saint Vincent: 20 - limit is effective until 30 June 2015.
  • All other waters: combined total of 40 Blue Swimmer and Sand Crabs.
Daily boat limit
  • Gulf of Saint Vincent: 60 - limit is effective until 30 June 2015.
  • All other waters: combined total of 120 Blue Swimmer and Sand Crabs.
Restrictions:
Females with external eggs are totally protected and must be returned to the water immediately.
View Gulf St Vincent Blue Swimmer Crab map
 

Scallop

Scallop
Minimum legal length:
6.5 cm measured across the widest dimension.
Personal daily bag limit:
100
Daily boat limit:
300
 

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:
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.
 

Silver Trevally

Silver Trevally
Minimum legal length:
24 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:
20
Daily boat limit:
60
 

Snapper

Snapper



Minimum legal length:
38 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.

In Gulf of Saint Vincent, Investigator Strait, Backstairs Passage

See map (PDF 571.3 KB)

Minimum legal length:
38 cm
Personal daily bag limit:
  • Snapper 38 to 60 cm: 5
  • Snapper over 60 cm: 2
Daily boat limit
  • Snapper 38 to 60 cm: 15
  • Snapper over 60 cm: 6
 

All other waters

Minimum legal length:
38 cm
Personal daily bag limit:
  • Snapper 38 to 60 cm: 10
  • Snapper over 60 cm: 2
Daily boat limit
  • Snapper 38 to 60 cm: 30
  • Snapper over 60 cm: 6
Closed season:
midday 1 November to midday 15 December
Closed areas:
midday 15 December 2014 to midday 31 January 2015 in the following areas
Closure location 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:
60
 

Southern Bluefin Tuna

Southern Bluefin Tuna
Minimum legal length:
no minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit:
combined total of 2 Yellowfin and Southern Bluefin Tuna.
Daily boat limit:
combined total of 6 Yellowfin and Southern Bluefin Tuna.
 

Southern Calamari - Squid

Squid
Minimum legal length:
no minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit:
combined total of 15 Squid and Cuttlefish.
Daily boat limit:
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

garfish
Minimum legal length:
23 cm measured from tip of the upper jaw to the tip of the tail.
Personal daily bag limit:
60
Daily boat limit:
180
 

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 catch
All 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 informationSee closure information.
See lobster pot regulations.
 

Sweep

sweep
Minimum legal length:
24 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:
20
Daily boat limit:
60
 

Trout

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.
 

Western Blue Groper

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:
2
Daily boat limit:
6

See closure information
 

Yabby

Yabby
Minimum legal length:
no size limit.
Personal daily bag limit:
200
Restrictions:
Female yabbies carrying eggs are totally protected and must be returned to the water immediately.
 

Yellowfin Tuna

Yellow fin tuna
Minimum legal length:
no minimum legal length.
Personal daily bag limit:
combined total of 2 Yellowfin and Southern Bluefin Tuna.
Daily boat limit:
combined total of 6 Yellowfin and Southern Bluefin Tuna.
 

Yellowfin Whiting

Yellowfin whiting
Minimum legal length:
24 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
Personal daily bag limit:
20
Daily boat limit:
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: 2
Daily boat limit
  • fish 45 to 60 cm: 30
  • fish over 60 cm: 6
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:
2
Daily boat limit:
6
 
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