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. Go to the Fishing limits explained page for more information.

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.

Fish - which includes crabs and sharks - that are subject to size limits cannot be filleted at sea. They can be scaled and gutted. Go to the fishing limits explained page for more information about mutilation of fish at sea.

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.

Go

More information

Abalone

Blacklip Abalone
Blacklip Abalone
Greenlip Abalone
Greenlip Abalone

Limits

  • Minimum size measured across its widest point:
    • Greenlip Abalone in the Western zone: 14.5 cm.
    • All other species in all other waters: 13 cm.
  • 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 Abalone.
    • For 1 person: a combined total of 5 Abalone.

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.
 

Albacore

Albacore

  • No minimum size
  • Personal daily bag limit: 2
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board: 6
 

Australian Herring - Tommy Ruff

Australian Herring - Tommy Rough

Limits

  • No minimum size
  • Personal daily bag limit: 40
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board: 120

Similarities with juvenile Salmon (Salmon Trout)

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

Juvenile Salmon have:

  • small eyes
  • smooth scales
  • yellow pectoral fin
  • yellow tail with a black edge.

Tommy Ruff have:

  • large eyes
  • rough scales
  • clear/silver pectoral fin
  • silver tail with black tips.

Tommy v salmon

 

Black Cowrie

Black Cowrie

  • 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 size: 38 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail
  • Personal daily bag limit: 5
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board: 15
 

Blue Swimmer Crab

Blue Swimmer Crab

  • Minimum size: 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 when 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.
  • Baiting crab nets: When using crab nets in marine waters (including from a jetty or boat) you:
    • can use fish or fish based products in crab nets
    • cannot use any type of meat, chicken or other poultry in crab nets. See the bait and berley guidlines for more information.

More information

 

Bream (all species)

Bream

  • Minimum size: 30 cm from tip of snout to tip of tail
  • Personal daily bag limit: 10
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board: 30

Closed season

 

Catfish - Hyrtl's & Silver Tandan

Catfish - Hyrtl's & Silver Tandan

  • No minimum size
  • Personal daily bag limit: 10
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board: 30

Restrictions: Hyrtl’s catfish and Silver Tandan catfish are not permitted to be taken from Cooper Creek in Lake Eyre Basin.

 

Congolli

Congolli

  • No size limits
  • Personal daily bag limit: 2
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board: 6
 

Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish

  • No minimum size
  • Personal daily bag limits: Either 15 Cuttlefish or a combined total of 15 Squid and Cuttlefish
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board: Either 45 Cuttlefish or a combined total of 45 Cuttlefish and Squid

Closures

Go to closure information

 

Flathead (all species)

Flathead

  • Minimum size: 30 cm measured from the tip of snout to tip of tail.
  • Personal daily bag limit: 10
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board: 30
 

Flounder

Flounder

  • No size limits.
  • Personal daily bag limit: 20
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are on board: 60
 

Giant Crab

Giant Crab

  • Minimum size: 15 cm measured from the top to bottom of the carapace.
  • No bag or boat limit.
  • Restrictions: Females with external eggs are totally protected and must be returned to the water immediately.
 

Golden Perch - Callop

Golden Perch

  • Minimum size: 33 cm from tip of snout to tip of tail.
  • Personal daily bag limit: 5
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board: 15
 

Grunter

Grunter

  • No size limits.
  • Personal daily bag limit: 5
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are on board: 15
 

Gummy Shark

Gummy Shark

  • Minimum size: 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 when 3 or more people are 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

  • No size limits
  • Personal daily bag limit: 2
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are on board: 6
 

King George Whiting

King George Whiting

  • Minimum size measured from tip of snout to tip of tail:
  • Personal daily bag limit: 10 in all waters
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board: 30
  • Possession limit is 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.

Have you identified the right Whiting species

King George Whiting look very similar to Yellowfin Whiting and Silver Whiting. Make sure you know the difference so that you comply with size, bag and boat limits of King George Whiting and Yellowfin Whiting.

King George Whiting closures

From 1 May to 31 May (inclusive) it is illegal to target, take or possess King George Whiting inside 2 closure areas located in the:

  • Spencer Gulf
  • Gulf St Vincent and Investigator Strait.

You cannot travel through the closure areas with King George Whiting onboard.

View the map of King George Whiting closure areas (PDF 366.0 KB)

Remember that outside of the closure areas:

Download the King George Whiting fishing closure flyer (PDF 1.3 MB), for a summary of the closure times and locations, as well as the limits when fishing outside the closure areas.

 

Mullet

Mullet

  • Minimum legal length: 21 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail
  • Personal daily bag limit: 60
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are on board: 180
 

Mulloway

Mulloway

Within the Coorong

  • Minimum legal length:46 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail.
  • Daily bag limit:
    • For fish 46 to 75 cm: 10
    • For fish more than 75 cm: 2
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board:
    • For fish 46 to 75 cm: 30
    • For fish more than 75 cm: 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 when 3 or more people on board:6

Coorong waters boundary point coordinates are:

  • 35° 33.312' South, 138° 52.765' East
  • 35° 33.366' South, 138° 52.889' East

Download a map of the Coorong waters. (PDF 618.4 KB)

 

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 when 3 or more people on board: 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 pipi cockles
    • East of longitude 136°E: 300 pipi cockles
  • Daily vehicle limit when 3 or more people present:
    • West of longitude 136°E: 300 pipi cockles
    • East of longitude 136°E: 900 pipi cockles
  • Possession limit: 1200

Closed season

1 June to 31 October (inclusive).

Closed areas

Recreational fishing for Pipi cockles is prohibited on the Younghusband Peninsula (Coorong Beach) between the Murray Mouth and 28 Mile Crossing. See closure information

 

Razorfish

Razorfish

  • No minimum legal length.
  • Personal daily bag limit: 25
  • Possession limit: 100
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are 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 trout)

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 Ruff)

Juvenile Salmon (Salmon Trout) look very similar to Australian Herring (Tommy Ruff). Make sure you know the difference to make sure undersize Salmon are returned to the water.

Juvenile Salmon have:

  • small eyes
  • smooth scales
  • yellow pectoral fin
  • yellow tail with a black edge.

Tommy Ruff have:

  • large eyes
  • rough scales
  • clear/silver pectoral fin
  • silver tail with black tips.

tommy and salmon

 

Samsonfish

Samsonfish

  • Minimum legal length: 88 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail
  • Personal daily bag limit: 1
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are 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 when 3 or more people are on board: 60 - combined with Blue Swimmer Crabs
  • Restrictions: Females with external eggs are totally protected and must be returned to the water immediately
  • Baiting crab nets: When using crab nets in marine waters (including from a jetty or boat) you:
    • can use fish or fish based products in crab nets
    • cannot use any type of meat, chicken or other poultry in crab nets. See the bait and berley guidlines for more information.
 

Scallop

Scallop

  • Minimum legal length: 6.5 cm measured across the widest dimension
  • Personal daily bag limit: 50
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are 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 Shark

  • Personal daily bag limit: combined total of 2 Gummy and School Sharks.
  • Daily boat limit when 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.

 

Sea Urchin

Sea Urchin

  • No minimum legal length
  • Personal daily bag limit: 20
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are on board: 60
 

Silver Whiting

Silver Whiting
Silver Whiting

No size, bag or boat limit applies to Silver Whiting, but take only what you need.

Have you identified the right Whiting species

Silver Whiting look very similar to King George Whiting and Yellowfin Whiting. Make sure you know the difference so that you comply with size, bag and boat limits of King George Whiting and Yellowfin Whiting.

Differences between Whiting species

Silver Whiting have:

  • A silver stripe along the side of the body
  • Clear fins and tail
  • Light brown banding / stripes along body

Yellowfin Whiting have:

  • Yellow fins and tail
  • No silver stripe along the side of body
  • No brown spots or bands on body

King George Whiting have:

  • Spots on body
  • Clear fins
  • More slender body (for size)
 

Snapper

PIRSA is reviewing the management arrangements for South Australia's Snapper fishery.

Learn more about the Snapper management review.


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

  • Minimum legal length: 38 cm
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board:
    • Snapper 38 to 60 cm: 15
    • Snapper over 60 cm: 6
  • Personal daily bag limit:
    • Snapper 38 to 60 cm: 5
    • Snapper over 60 cm: 2

Closed season

A seasonal closure to the targeting and take of Snapper applies in all state waters from midday 1 November to midday 15 December annually.

Closed areas

Localised fishing closures to protect Snapper are in place in Gulf St Vincent from 15 December 2018 to 31 March 2019 and in Spencer Gulf from 15 December 2018 to 15 December 2019.

 

Snook

Snook

  • Minimum legal length: 45 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail
  • Personal daily bag limit: 20
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are on board: 60
 

Southern Bluefin Tuna

Southern Bluefin Tuna

  • No minimum legal length
  • Personal daily bag limit: 2
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are on board: 6
 

Southern Calamari - Squid

Southern Calamari - Squid

  • No minimum legal length
  • Personal daily bag limit: Either 15 Squid or a combined total of 15 Squid and Cuttlefish
  • Daily boat limit when 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

Southern Garfish

  • 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 when 3 or more people are on board: 90
 

Southern Rock Lobster

Southern Rock Lobster

  • Minimum legal length:
    • Northern zone: 10.5 cm.
    • Southern zone: 9.85 cm.
    • 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. 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

Closed areas: See closures page

Closed season

More information

 

Spangled Perch

Spangled Perch

  • No minimum legal length
  • Personal daily bag limit: 15
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board: 45
 

Sweep

Sweep

  • Minimum legal length: 24 cm
  • Personal daily bag limit: 20
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are on board: 60
 

Trevally (all species)

Trevally

  • Minimum legal length: 24 cm
  • Personal daily bag limit: 20
  • Daily boat limit when 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.
  • 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

Closures

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 when 3 or more people are 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

  • No minimum legal length.
  • Personal daily bag limit: 1
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people on board: 3
 

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

  • Size limits:
    • minimum: 25 cm
    • maximum: 35 cm
  • Personal daily bag limit: 5
  • Daily boat limit when 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

  • No size limit.
  • Personal daily bag limit: 200
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are 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

Yellowfin Whiting

  • Minimum legal length: 24 cm measured from tip of snout to tip of tail
  • Personal daily bag limit: 20
  • Daily boat limit when 3 or more people are on board: 60

Have you identified the right Whiting species

Yellowfin Whiting look very similar to King George Whiting and Silver Whiting. Make sure you know the difference so that you comply with size, bag and boat limits of King George Whiting and Yellowfin Whiting.

 

Yellowtail Kingfish

Yellowtail Kingfish

Yellowtail Kingfish caught in the Spencer Gulf

  • 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 when 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 when 3 or more people on board:3
 
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