Catch! - Recreational fishing news from Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia
Issue No.45, August 2019

Extended pink snapper closed season starts 1 September

The annual pink snapper closed season has been extended and the closure area widened in Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds to provide more protection for spawning pink snapper.

The closed season now runs from 1 September to 31 January each year and has been extended north to Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and west to the inside of Five Fathom Bank.

The latest science shows that pink snapper begin to migrate into the Sounds well before the start of the traditional spawning closure on 1 October and the decision to extend the closure was made following feedback from Recfishwest and the commercial fishing industry.


New measures to protect blue swimmer crabs

Blue swimmer crab stock in Perth and the South West will be given additional protection through several new measures being introduced this year.

A seasonal closure will be introduced for recreational and commercial fishers between 1 September and 30 November between the Swan River and Minninup Beach, about 15km south of Bunbury.

A new bag limit of five crabs per fisher will be introduced in the Swan and Canning Rivers. Geographe Bay crabbers will be able to keep a maximum of five female crabs as part of their 10 crab daily bag limit. The recreational boat limit of 20 will remain unchanged.

The State Government will also start the process to offer to buy back commercial licences from oceanic crab fisheries ahead of the permanent closure of that fishery.


Tr(y)out freshwater angling on the licence-free weekend

This year’s annual licence-free weekend for freshwater fishing is on Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September, coinciding with the start of spring, Father's Day, and TroutFest.

The weekend presents a great opportunity to have a go at freshwater fishing, as at all other times of the year a freshwater angling licence is required by everyone aged 16 and over when freshwater fishing in lakes, dams and rivers south of Greenough.


Illegal fishing activity attracts big penalties

Some large fines have been handed down in courts across the state recently following successful investigations by Fisheries officers into illegal fishing activity.

Charges were successfully laid in cases relating to illegally possessing and selling western rock lobster, possessing undersized blue swimmer crabs and exceeding the daily bag limit, and interfering with fishing gear at a shellfish farm.

Fishing rules are in place to protect fish stocks and ensure Western Australians can continue to enjoy fishing in the future. Report any illegal fishing you observe or suspect of taking place to FishWatch on 1800 815 507.