National Fishing licence

When travelling Australia, every time you cross a state border you have to follow a different set of fishing rules. I am a Queenslander, I was sitting in a caravan park in Victoria on the banks of the Murray River catching carp for fun and throwing them in the bins provided. What I didn't know that I had to have a licence to fish in NSW if I am fishing in the Murray River from Victoria.
When I left Queensland I took one Opera House pot, I got to El Questro and threw it in the river and found out later that WA don't allow Opera house pots at all.
I also took my cast net and found that they are banned from most other Australian states.
When do we get one set of rules.
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Reply By: Jeffrey B2 - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 21:16

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 21:16
Hi! Alandale,

I think you will find that The Murray River is completly within
New South Wales.

To the best of my knowledge the border is actually just south of the River some meters back from the river bank.

I am sure someone with the correct information will let us both know what the actual position is.

Have fun Haji-Baba
AnswerID: 496017

Follow Up By: Bob R4 - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 21:23

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 21:23
There's a fair bit of it in SA too.
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Follow Up By: Member - Josh - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 22:17

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 22:17
I thought it was the high water mark on the Vic side, I could be wrong though.

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 23:44

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 23:44
That's my understanding too Josh.

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 11:21

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 11:21
Lol Bob.

Almost, Josh - not sure that high water mark is the correct term though. The top of the bank/contour which usually confines the river on the southern side is one of the major border markers. In the many lengths of river where that is not obvious there are much more complex (legal) approaches to sorting out the border. The definition does suggest that over the decades Vic (and SA to a much lesser extent) has been getting marginally smaller and NSW commensurately larger.
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Follow Up By: "crack-a-tinnie" - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 16:45

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 16:45
Rob4B is right, there is a fair bit of the Murray in S.A. and they have different rules than NSW for good reasons.
On the Vic. NSW border, on the Vic side of the Murray, you need a NSW license, but it's no good sitting on the "high water mark" if the river has dropped. :-)

Now just to confuse some people, you need a Vic. Fishing License to Fish Lake Hume & a NSW Fish License to fish Lake Mulwala.

At the moment the Murray River is pretty full.

Happy fishing.....
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 23:12

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 23:12
Bazooka, there is no change in the size of states. The border was set as at the time of Victoria's separation. The river has shifted since then, the border has not. There are some parts of Vic you can walk/wade into from NSW and vice versa.

"crack-a-tinnie" it's a bit hard to paint a line on the surface of the lakes so boaties can see which state they are sailing in. As a result the two states have come to an agreement, NSW will administer the waters in Mulwala and Vic Hume. This was decided on by which state had the more land submerged. Each administer more than the fisheries.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ian G (NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:47

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:47
We gave the fishing away whilst traveling, years ago as the cost for each of us having a license in each state is ridiculously expensive and the rules are different for each state as well.

We now only fish with silver bait - coins, and the fish come gutted, and crumbed, grilled or battered.

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Reply By: madfisher - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 21:19

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 21:19
Problem is ea state runs its own fisheries dept. Mind you I would not let the feds any where near our state fisheries anyhow. And you can not expect the same regs in Tasmania as Queensland, totaly different fisheries and out looks.
tight lines Pete
AnswerID: 496018

Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 21:31

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 21:31
G`day Alan & Dale,

"When do we get one set of rules."

You being a Queenslander shouldn`t be asking for one set of rules, IMO you have the best fishing regulations in all of Oz, they just might make them all like Victoria`s or NSW`s.

Then you WILL have something to winge about. LOL

Tight lines,

AnswerID: 496019

Follow Up By: Member - alandale - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 06:15

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 06:15
Hi Scrubby,
I know the probable consequences for a wish it was all the same and that the rest won't change to the same as Queensland.
Why are they all different.
In Qld we still have to purchase licences for most dams and we have seasonal fishing for Barra, and we have the largest marine park in Australia which is divided up into multiple different Zones.
But a licence in Queensland should be valid for the rest of Australia.
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Reply By: get outmore - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 22:16

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 22:16
be carefull what you wish for

you will get the worst most restrictive rules from each state put together

people ask for australia wide gun rules ..... i say no damn way
AnswerID: 496024

Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 22:19

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 22:19

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Reply By: Member - Josh - Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 22:28

Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 22:28
I know what you mean about different rules, also different size limits and bag limits. I bought a SA licence. Then travelled through WA and NT. It ran out 3 days before I got back to SA. I had to buy another licence for 3 weeks again in SA.
Not knowing the rules for each state though is a bit ordinary. First thing I did when we crossed a boarder was find the rules for that state. Mr fishery doesn't care where your from, in fact, we found they seemed less tolerant of interstaters than locals. Most shops near boarders have regs for both sides.
I think having a national licence is a good idea but each state needs to manage their own fisheries as fish numbers and size change in different parts of OZ. You should be able to buy a national licence to cover all states but still abide by the local state regs. Not hard really, oh crap, then the government would miss out on another chance to take our money.
The other thing I found funny was up north what I used for bait, I would be really happy just to catch it down south lol.
No state operates the same with any rules, cars, boats, insurance ect...

AnswerID: 496025

Follow Up By: Member - alandale - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 06:26

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 06:26
Yes Josh,
It was the going through states and having to purchase a licence for about a month, and then getting another licence in the next state. I bought a licence in WA to be allowed to throw a cast net, I found the rules as to where I could throw the net were so restricting I only threw it in one place.
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Follow Up By: daz (SA) - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 22:31

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 22:31
Hi there Josh

As A South aussie I did not know we had recreational fishing licences, Pros yes recreational ????

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Follow Up By: Member - Josh - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 23:00

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 23:00
Hey Dazza, you are totally correct. I just checked my diary from the trip and it was NSW I needed it twice, not SA.

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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 09:33

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 09:33
Like others have careful what you wish for!

In Wa it costs
Recreational Fishing from Boat $30.00
Rock Lobster $40.00
Abalone $40.00
Marron $40.00
Freshwater Angling $40.00
Net Fishing (set, haul, throw) $40.00

Marron season went for about 4 weeks, you are restricted by size and places you can catch them, and have a daily bag limit of 10 and a possesion limit of 20.........

On top of that there isnt one rule for WA.....its divided into 4 sections!

Im not saying the system does or doesnt work.......just bloody hard to get your head around!!!!

AnswerID: 496043

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 21:48

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 21:48
G'day Hairy,

I think you're on the money here! There should be simple and consistant rules for bag limits and sizes etc. It is bluddy impossible to know all the rules whilst travelling and yet there is no excuse for not doing so. They should have been taught the KISS principle.

I just realised that the Barra season is closing in QLD and I have at least 4 weeks left to catch that 90cm model now that is bad planning on my part.

Kind regards
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Reply By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 16:53

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 16:53
Hi All,

What about a system like they use for Drivers Licences and vehicle Rego's. Your NSW Licence and NSW Rego allows you to drive in every state so why should your fishing licence restrict you to one state.

No need for the Feds to get involved, just get the Fishing Licence issuers to get together and sort it out sensibly. Just a thought.


AnswerID: 496053

Follow Up By: madfisher - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 20:47

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 20:47
Not going to happen mate, ea fisheries dept would miss out on to much money, esp smaller states like Tas. which rely on tourism and their dollars.
Cheers pete
FollowupID: 771676

Reply By: Gavin M2 - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 17:20

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 17:20
Wow. After reading this thread I just realised I could haved broken the law unintentionally (not being a fisherman myself).

We bought our 8 and 11 y/o granddaughters a little kiddy fishing rod each from BCF for Christmas.

When we took them with us on our last holiday they wanted to go fishing so I just let them practice in the Murchison River (WA). Didn't expect them to catch anything (they didn't) but it was a good chance for them to practice casting.

They only managed to catch one fish off a jetty in the ocean some time later. Should we have obtained a licence to engage in this purely recreational activity? I thought fishing (for your own consumption) was a freedom we enjoyed in this country (?).


AnswerID: 496054

Follow Up By: disco driver - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 19:18

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 19:18
Gavin M2,
No you didn,t break any WA laws with your grandkids, kids under 16 are exempt but must obey bag limits and area restrictions.
If you were casting for them you could be pinged but it's most unlikely if you were using kiddy gear.

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Follow Up By: Member - Ups and Downs - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 21:56

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 21:56
In WA you require a Fishing Licence if you use a boat ito get to where you are fishing, or to fish from it.

From the shore NO licence is required.

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Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 23:23

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 23:23
I doubt very much that we will ever have a national fishing licence or one national set of fishing rules.

We can have national drivers licencing equavalency because we have a standardised vehicle clasification system and a national licence clasification system with a more or less standardised set of competencies that licences are tested to...even that is reasonably recent....well less than ten years..ok maybe 15.

Even the very same fish, will grow to different sizes in different parts of the counrty and mature at different sizes and ages.
Different environments will support different amounts of fish and there are different management stratergies in different places

Not only would a national set of fishing rules be nearly impossible it would not be good for anybody including the fish.

Then every state has a different way of funding fishereis managment, in QLD we dont have a general fishing licence, but there is a fee alocated as part of every boat regestration to fund recreational fishing management...from memory about $15.

We have a stocked impoundment scheme, that covers most but not all dams, the stocked impoundment permit (after the government takes its cut for managment) directly funds stocking activities on the dams covered by the scheme.

Differently in NSW they have a licence.

spare a thaught for those who live down the tweed......the border runs up the middle of the QLD you can use a cast net in salt water, in NSW possesion of a cast net is an NSW you can use bait traps in salt water in QLD you can QLD we have one size and bag limit for snapper in NSW they have a different rule....two different rules for crab QLD we cant keep female crabs, in NSW you can.......all in the same river.......and it goes on.

The tweed river is a silly enough place...realy (Camelot Camelot..its only a model), BUT if you get in a boat and head out of the Southport Seaway.....well inside QLD nearly 30 km inside QLD......if you head due wont be long ( aboit 20 KM) before you are in NSW. The NSW/QLD border heads North East at about a 45 deg angle from the mouth of the you can be directly off the coast of QLD and legally catch a fish under NSW regs, but on the way back to port it becomes illegal....ARRRGHH

The fisheries rules in the Northern teritory are some of the most generous and enlightened in the counrty....AND NT and QLD governments have agreed and QLD regs have been made to fall in line with NT on the wester side of the cape in many ways.
Pitty NSW and QLD can't come to some agreement.

If ya think the NT boys have it good....and they do......they have their problems don't need a boat licence and you don't have to register small boats in NT.......grrreatt...untill you want to use your boat in cant register your boat in NT, because they just don't, but it needs to be registered somewhere if you want to use it in QLD....because you aren't a resident of QLD you cant register your boat there ya buggered.

At least we have one standard driving licence system and after many years of fooishness we have on single set of rules for towing trailers.

With some luck ( bad luck if you are in NSW and you like modified vehicles, good luck for the rest of us) we will have one standard set of rules for vehicle modifications..when they can all agree and NSW stop bleep arround.

There is a definite federal agenda to standardise things nationally....everything.....and they are getting arround to stuff....They are realy giving transport a red hot go at the moment, they fixed the trailers, they fixed the licence system, they have uniform traffic signage, more or less one set of traffic rules, they have just done load restraint, at the moment thay are arguing about fatigue managment......but don't hold ya breath about fishing.
They don't even have their story straight about boat licences yet..surely it cant be all that hard.

AnswerID: 496077

Reply By: SDG - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 01:31

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 01:31
NSW – by telephone 1300 369 365 (Visa and Mastercard only) or apply on line at DPI, DPI Fisheries Offices, or one their Gold agents or NSW listed agents. In New South Wales you must obtain a fishing licence to fish in saltwater or freshwater anywhere in NSW. See their website for full details.

ACT – you do not require a recreational fishing licence in the ACT but regulations do apply and these can be view on the Parks Conservation and Lands (PCL) website.

VIC – apply on-line at DPI, one of the many DPI offices or business outlets in Victoria as listed on their website. A Recreational Fishing Licence (RFL) is required when taking any species of fish by line fishing, bait collection, gathering shellfish, prawning, yabby fishing and spear fishing. See their website for full particulars.

TAS – apply on line at DPI Parks, Water & Environment or one of its 120 agents including major fishing tackle and sports stores. In Tasmania you do not need a licence for sea fishing with a rod and line but for angling in most inland waters an Inland Fisheries Angling Licence is required. See their website for full particulars.

SA – a licence to fish recreationally with rods and handlines in South Australia is not required. See PIRSA Fisheries website for regulations relating to permitted devices, closed areas and bag limits. Recreational fishers are not permitted to sell or trade their catch. See their website for full particulars.

WA – apply at the Department of Fisheries and all Australia Post outlets. Recreational fishing in Western Australia is managed within four biological regions and each region has fishing rules and regulations to suit the regional ecology, fishing pressure and mix of species. See their website for further details as well as maps of the biological regions.

NT – No fishing licence is required for recreational fishing in the Northern Territory but none of the catch can be sold or bartered. In Kakadu National Park some additional fishing controls apply (Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources). For creational fishing on aboriginal land and adjoining waters, there is also a requirement to obtain a permit to enter. For these areas enquires should be directed to the Northern Land Council (NLC) or In NT they have a ‘possession limit’ rather than a boat, trip or daily limit. The possession limit is the number of fish a person may have in their possession at any one time one time (other than at the permanent place of residence).

Concessions or Exemptions for fishing licences

When applying for a fishing licence or permit check if you may be eligible for a concession or exemption from either having to have a licence or for payment of a fee.
For example:-
In Queensland you are under the age of 18 years you do not need a Stock Impoundment Permit and in some states children under 14 or 16 years do not need a licence to fish. In Victoria there is an exemption for a licence to fish if you are over 70 years of age.
In a number of states you may not need to have a licence to fish if you hold either a Seniors Card, Veterans’ Affairs Pensioner or Repatriation Health (TPI) Card or Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card coded either (DSP), (DSP Blind), (AGE), (AGE Blind) or (CAR). Please make your own enquiry.

Disclaimer: As fishing licence regulations, terms and conditions may change in the various state or territory since this article was written, you should make your own enquiry with the relevant state fishing industry control authority.


AnswerID: 496082

Reply By: allein m - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 15:23

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 15:23
That would be fantastic what about national driver license to go with it. I used to live in Perth and rarely left the state but now i live in Broken Hill we often go fishing in SA and down Mildura way and plan a few trip to victoria . in one day i can travel 3 different states

may be one day some one will see some common sense and do this but i am definitely not going to hold my breath

happy fishing
AnswerID: 496098

Reply By: philw - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:47

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:47
The whole system is deliberately designed to be confusing,right across the board. Helps the sods to boost revenue from fines. Pretty obvious.
AnswerID: 496111

Reply By: Capt. Wrongway - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 15:24

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 15:24
No hope of ever having common licencing in Australia for anything. Too much revenue to be made by all state & Federal governments and departments. About 5 years ago I was having a yak with a mate over a beer and he said ... "they'll soon be charging us for the air we breathe".
How right he was! ( carbon tax )
AnswerID: 496141

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