Closed seasons in tidal waters

This page provides information on closed seasons for recreational fishing in tidal waters. Information on closed seasons in fresh waters is also available.

Why do we have closed seasons?

Closed seasons (regulated waters) prevent people from fishing at certain times of the year to protect species at vulnerable times in their life cycle, such as during spawning seasons.

Australian bass

A closed season applies to Australian bass throughout Queensland tidal waters from 1 June to 31 August.


Throughout the Queensland east coast, a closed season applies to barramundi from 1 November to 1 February.

Throughout the Gulf of Carpentaria and adjoining waterways west and south of the intersection of longitude 142°09'E with the shore at high tide, a closed season applies to barramundi.

The Gulf of Carpentaria closed season for barramundi for is 7 October to 1 February.

It is also prohibited to deliberately target barramundi for catch and release during these closed seasons, as the stress of capture may prevent a fish from spawning.

Coral reef fin fish

Coral reef fin fish closure dates for 2019 to 2023 are:

  • 25 October 2019 to 29 October 2019
    24 November 2019 to 28 November 2019
  • 14 October 2020 to 18 October 2020
    12 November 2020 to 16 November 2020
  • 3 October 2021 to 7 October 2021
    2 November 2021 to 6 November 2021
  • 22 October 2022 to 26 October 2022
    21 November 2022 to 25 November 2022
  • 12 October 2023 to 16 October 2023
    10 November 2023 to 14 November 2023

The closures apply to the following tidal waters (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park):

  • from the northern tip of Cape York along latitude 10°41' south
  • to longitude 145° east
  • to latitude 13° south, longitude 145° east
  • to latitude 15° south, longitude 146° east
  • to latitude 17°30' south, longitude 147° east
  • to latitude 21° south, longitude 152°55' east
  • to latitude 24°30' south, longitude 154° east
  • to latitude 24°50' south, longitude 154° east along latitude 24°50' south to the mainland shore along the shore to the northern tip of Cape York at latitude 10°41' south.

See the map of coral reef fin fish closures for Queensland (PDF, 433KB).

Snapper and pearl perch

A closed season applies to snapper and pearl perch throughout Queensland tidal waters from 15 July to 15 August

Spanner crabs

Throughout Queensland a closed season (regulated period) applies to spanner crabs from 1 November to 15 December inclusive

Tropical rock lobster (tropical spiny rock lobster)

A closed season applies to all species of tropical rock lobster (family Panuliridae) from midnight 1 October to midnight 31 December in Queensland tidal waters:

  1. north of latitude 14º S, south of Cape York and east of longitude 142º31'49" E
  2. in the Gulf of Carpentaria, shoreward of the 25 n mile line and south of latitude 10°48' S.

Note: A size limit (11.5 cm tail minimum, 9 cm carapace minimum) applies to painted crayfish (Panulirus ornatus).

Further information