River fishery

The River fishery operates in the River Murray and its backwaters between the town of Wellington and the Victorian border. The fishery mostly takes non-native species such as European carp and Redfin perch to reduce their numbers. Bony bream and yabbies are the only native species that can be taken.


There are no new licences available for the River Fishery. Licences are not transferrable.


River Fishery licences expire on 30 June every year.


Commercial licence fees must be paid each financial year. Invoices are issued annually in June.

Payments can be made:

  • up-front
  • in a lump sum
  • in quarterly installments.

Boat registration and de-registration

Every boat that is used for commercial fishing must be registered. Licence holders can use 2 boats at the same time in 2 different locations.

Use the application to vary a boat registration endorsement (PDF 266.4 KB) to register or de-register a boat.

Boat master registration

All people who act as a commercial fishing boat master must be registered by the licence holder. Multiple boat masters can be registered using the form below.

Application to change registration of a master/s (PDF 385.8 KB)

A licence holder can have 2 people other than the boat master working on a registered boat. There can be up to 6 people working on a licence with 2 boats.


There are seasonal and permanent closures for the River Fishery listed below.

Licence holders may fish in a closed area if they have approval from the Director of Fisheries to eradicate carp. Use this form to apply for an exemption to undertake carp eradication work (PDF 574.6 KB).


The River Fishery is regulated by the:


View the Ministerial determinations.

Permitted devices

Licence holders must report the location of all gear being used to Fishwatch on 1800 065 522 before fishing. The licence holder must report every time fishing gear is moved more than 3 kilometers from the previously reported position.

Permitted devices in the River Fishery include:

  • drum nets
  • hoop and drop nets
  • set lines
  • yabbie pots and traps.

Gill nets cannot be used in the River Fishery.


Licences have a limited number of devices that can be used at one time:

  • 50 scalefish fishing units. A unit is 1 drum net or a 10 hook set line.
  • 100 crustacean fishing units. A unit is a:
    • yabbie pot
    • hoop net
    • drop net.


River Fishery licence holders can get an exemption for carp nets to remove non-native species: apply for the exemption (PDF 574.6 KB).


Rebecca Atkins
Fishery Manager
Phone: (08) 8429 0241
Email: rebecca.atkins@sa.gov.au

Page Last Reviewed: 28 Jul 2017
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