Statewide recreational fishing surveys

View results of statewide recreational fishing surveys on our interactive dashboard.

Understanding the catch and effort and participation rate of recreational fishers is an important part of sustainably managing Queensland's fisheries.

Queensland’s fisheries resources are shared among recreational fishers, commercial fishers, charter operators and people practising traditional fishing. This statewide recreational fishing survey is part of Fisheries Queensland’s monitoring program which collects recreational fishing information.

The statewide recreational fishing survey series commenced in 1997 and provides recreational fishing catch and effort information necessary to safeguard marine resources for tomorrow.

2019–20 survey

The latest statewide recreational fishing survey started on 29 April 2019, and finished on 28 April 2020. This survey builds on the previous 2013–14 survey and is the eighth in the series.

The information recreational fishers provide is confidential and is aggregated and weighted to provide statewide and regional information about:

  • recreational fishing participation rates and the number of Queenslanders who go fishing
  • where and how Queenslanders go recreational fishing
  • which species, and how many of those species Queenslanders catch and release
  • fishing-related expenditure (to help us understand the economics of recreational fishing).

About the program

The 2019–20 statewide recreational fishing survey was conducted by the Social Research Centre (SRC), a subsidiary of the Australian National University. The SRC is a respected research organisation with recreational fishing survey experience.

The SRC contacted more than 8,500 households across Queensland via landline and mobile numbers between February and April 2019.

Recipients were asked if they fished recreationally in the last 12 months, and if they intended on fishing recreationally in the next 12 months. Households that intended to fish were invited to take part in the 12-month recreational fishing activity logbook phase.

More than 2,100 recreational fishing households took part in the 12-month recreational fishing activity logbook phase. During this phase, participating fishers recorded their fishing activity and expenditure shortly after they went fishing, either by a phone call from our interviewers, or logging the activity via the online survey portal.


Based on conversations with the 8,500 households contacted by SRC during the initial phone survey (screening survey), it was estimated that almost 943,000 Queenslanders went recreational fishing in Queensland during 2018–19 (the year prior to the 12-month logbook phase).

Based on data collected during the subsequent 12-month logbook phase, key results for 2019–20 include the following:

  • approximately 660,000 Queenslanders went recreational fishing in Queensland in 2019–20 (based on the number of trips recorded in logbooks)
  • logbook participants recorded approximately 2.8 million fishing days over the 12-month period (which is similar to previous years)
  • whiting was the most commonly caught fish
  • Queenslanders spent approximately $600 million on recreational fishing items.

Differences in participation rates between 2018–19 and 2019–20 are due to the different methods (phone survey and log books) used to calculate the estimates for each year.

The final survey results are available on our interactive dashboard and in the key results report.

For more information refer to the following reports

2010–11 and 2013–14 surveys

Results of the 2010–11 and 2013–14 statewide recreational fishing surveys:

Survey results are also available on our interactive dashboard.

More information

Contact our Customer Service Centre