Size, take and possession limits for fresh waters

A possession limit of 20 per species applies to all freshwater fin fish not listed below.

The following legal limits apply to fish taken in Queensland waters. A take and possession limit is the total number of fish a person may take or possess at any one time.

Freshwater species size and possession limits*
Species Legal size limit (cm) Take and possession limit
Australian bass*
Australian bass* 30 min 2
Australian lungfish
Australian lungfish - No take
Barramundi*
Barramundi 58 min 120 max (one greater than 120 cm from some dams) 5 (one during closed season
for some dams)
Cherabins
Cherabins No limit Combined limit of 10 in total of both species: Macrobrachium lar and M. rosenbergii
Cod
Bloomfield River cod
No take
Mary River cod* - Upstream of the walls of Cressbrook, Hinze, Maroon, Moogerah, North Pine, Somerset and Wivenhoe dams and lakes Dyer (Bill Gunn Dam) and Clarendon 50 min 1
Mary River cod* - elsewhere in Queensland - No take
Murray cod# (Queensland part of Murray-Darling Drainage Division) 60 min 110 max 2
Eels
Longfin 30 min Combined limit
Pacific shortfin (south Pacific) 30 min of 10 in total
Southern shortfin 30 min of all eel species
Freshwater catfish
Freshwater catfish (eel-tailed catfish) 35 min Combined limit of 5 in total of fish in the genera Anodontiglanis, Neosilurus, Tandanus and Neosiluroides (e.g. black, Cooper Creek, eel-tailed, false spine, shortfinned catfish and Hyrtl's tandan)
Freshwater sawfish
Freshwater sawfish - No take
Garfish
Garfish No limit 50
Goby
Cling goby
No take
Edgbaston hardyhead
No take
Mangrove jack
Mangrove jack 35 min 5
Molluscs
Molluscs (excluding oysters) No limit 50
Mullet
Freshwater mullet 30 min 20
Sea mullet 30 min 20
Perch and grunter
Golden perch (yellowbelly) 30 min 10
Jungle perch 35 max Combined limit of 1 in total of jungle perch and spotted flagtail
Spotted flagtail (northern jungle perch) 35 max Combined limit of 1 in total of jungle perch and spotted flagtail
Silver perch 30 min Combined limit of 5 in total for silver perch, Welch's grunter and Barcoo grunter (no more than 2 of these fish may be silver perch). Silver perch in Paroo and Warrego River basins are a no take species
Barcoo grunter 30 min Combined limit of 5 in total for silver perch, Welch's grunter and Barcoo grunter (no more than 2 of these fish may be silver perch)
Welch's grunter 30 min Combined limit of 5 in total for silver perch, Welch's grunter and Barcoo grunter (no more than 2 of these fish may be silver perch)
Sooty grunter 28 min Combined limit of 10 in total for sooty, khaki, lake and Gulf grunter species
Khaki grunter (Khaki bream) No limit Combined limit of 10 in total for sooty, khaki, lake and Gulf grunter species
Gulf grunter 28 min Combined limit of 10 in total for sooty, khaki, lake and Gulf grunter species
Lake grunter No limit Combined limit of 10 in total for sooty, khaki, lake and Gulf grunter species
Rainbow fish
Rainbow fish ( Melanotaenia sp.) No limit 20 per species
Redclaw (redclaw crayfish in its natural range)
Gulf of Carpentaria Drainage Division and from the Jacky Jacky River basin south to the Normanby River basin on the east coast of Queensland No limit 40 (females carrying eggs or young must be returned to the water within their natural range)
River blackfish
River blackfish - No take
Saratoga
Northern 50 min Combined limit of 1 in total of northern and southern saratoga
Southern 50 min Combined limit of 1 in total of northern and southern saratoga
Spiny crayfish
Spiny crayfish - No take
Yabby or blueclaw crayfish
Yabby or blueclaw crayfish ( cherax destructor) No limit 100 (females carrying eggs or young must be returned to the water within their natural range)

*A closed season applies to these species.

#Murray cod cannot be taken from the waters of the Murray Darling Drainage Division other than in the following dams: Beardmore Dam; Beehive Dam; Connolly Dam; Cooby Dam; Coolmunda Dam; Glenlyon Dam; Leslie Dam; Storm King Dam from 1 September to 30 November. See Closed waters - freshwater areas for more information on closed waters in Queensland.

No-take species

  • Australian lungfish
  • Bloomfield River cod
  • Freshwater sawfish
  • River blackfish
  • Spiny crayfish
  • Edgbaston hardyhead
  • Cling goby
  • Mary River cod - no take except upstream of some dams

Why do we have size limits?

In Queensland, there are limits on the size of fish that can be legally taken for many species. There are minimum size limits and also some maximum size limits.

Size limits are typically based on biological research into each species' reproductive cycles. Minimum size limits generally allow fish to spawn at least once and contribute to the population before they are taken.

However, in some species larger individuals contribute more to the population, which is why maximum size limits apply. For example, most barramundi begin their lives as males and later, as they grow larger, become females. A maximum size limit is applied to protect large females and to allow them to spawn.

Why do we have possession limits?

A possession limit refers to the total number of fish an individual can legally take and have in their possession at any one time - it does not apply on a per day basis. This includes the fish you have caught previously that are in your freezer at home.

These limits serve several purposes. They:

  • conserve heavily exploited species
  • conserve species that are susceptible to capture
  • share the catch more equitably among anglers
  • reduce the illegal marketing of fish
  • send out a message promoting ethical and responsible behaviour when using a limited natural resource.

Further information

Last updated 20 April 2016