Gulf waters closed for barramundi fishing

News release | 28-Sep-2018

Barramundi will be off limits in the Gulf of Carpentaria from midday 7 October 2018 until midday 1 February 2019.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol District Manager Tony Loader said the annual closure was in place to protect barramundi stocks during their vulnerable spawning season. 

“Closed seasons allow fish species to replenish which ensures the sustainability of stocks for current and future generations of Queenslanders to enjoy,” Mr Loader said.

"Barramundi typically aggregate in one area to spawn, making them more vulnerable to predators and fishing pressure.

"It's important that barramundi are not targeted for catch and release during the closed season as the stress of capture may actually prevent the fish from spawning.”

Mr Loader said Fisheries officers will be out patrolling Gulf of Carpentaria waters during the closed season.

“Fishers caught doing the wrong thing during the barramundi closure risk on-the-spot fines of $522 and a maximum penalty of $130,000,” he said.

The barramundi closed season does not apply in East Leichardt Dam and Belmore, Corella, Julius, Fred Tritton and Moondarra lakes, and to waterways upstream of these impoundments.

A closed season will also apply to barramundi throughout the Queensland east coast, from midday 1 November 2018 to midday 1 February 2019, except in and from waterways upstream of:

  • Aplins Weir (also includes Black Weir and Gleeson Weir)
  • Awoonga
  • Ben Anderson Barrage (also includes Paradise Dam, Claude Wharton Weir and Jones Weir)
  • Burdekin Falls
  • Callide
  • Eungella
  • Fairbairn
  • Fred Haigh (Lake Monduran)
  • Kinchant
  • Koombooloomba
  • Lenthalls
  • Peter Faust
  • Teemburra
  • Tinaroo
  • Wuruma Dam
  • Lake Gregory (Isis Balancing Storage)
  • Lake Morris (Copperlode Falls Dam).

Most of the exempted locations are waterways that are part of the Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme (SIPS) where a permit for line fishing is required.

Visit www.qld.gov.au/freshwaterfishing to find the nearest stocked waterway and buy a permit.

Mr Loader said size and possession limits still apply to barramundi taken from exempted waterways during the closed season.

“The minimum size limit for barramundi is 58 cm, the possession limit is one per person and the barramundi may be over 120 cm while the closure applies,” he said.

"Commercial fishers must also adhere to stringent restrictions placed on their netting operations to protect the high numbers of barramundi brood stock that move into estuarine waters.”

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol relies on the support of the public to help protect the state’s valuable fisheries resources for future generations.

People who suspect illegal fishing activity should make a report to the 24 hour toll-free Fishwatch hotline which is 1800 017 116.

For more information on closed seasons for fishing in Queensland, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free ‘Qld Fishing’ app from Apple and Google app stores.

Media contact: Dianne Bye, 07 3087 8577