1959 1st December
SUMMARY OF FISHING LAWS FOR THE INFORMATION OF SPEARGUN FISHERMEN OPERATING ON OCEAN BEACHES AND SALTWATER STREAMS OF NEW SOUTH WALES
The following is a digest of the provisions of the New South Wales Fisheries laws as they apply to speargun fishermen operating in the tidal waters of New South Wales. Tidal waters are all streams affected by tidal influence and also include ocean beaches, coastal saltwater lakes, lagoons and ponds. The use of spears, spearguns and similar devices for the capture of fish is totally prohibited in inland waters.
Licences:
Persons taking fish by means of spears, spearguns or similar devices are not required to hold a licence.
Bag Limit:
There is no bag limit in respect of fish taken in saltwater except bass and all species of groper, but speargun fishermen are requested to avoid waste by ceasing to fish when they have obtained sufficient fish to satisfy their own requirements.
With bass, there is a bag limit of ten (10) fish per person per day but, as their capture is limited to a rod and line or handline with not more than two hooks attached, they cannot be legally captured by a speargun. The bag limit with groper of any species is not more than two (2) fish per person per day.
Sale of Fish:
Speargun fishermen are permitted to take fish for their own consumption and under no circumstances are they permitted to sell their catch.
Undersize Fish:
It is an offence to retain or be in possession of undersize fish. The minimum legal length of fishes appears hereunder:-
Bass (Estuary Perch)…………………………..11 ins.
Blackfish, Rock…………………………………9 ins.
Bream (Black Bream)…………………………10 ins.
Cod, Black Rock………………………………13 ins.
Cod, Red Rock…………………………………9 ins.
Flathead, Common or Dusky………………14 ins.
Flathead, Long Spined (Spiky)……………9 ins.
Flathead, Sand…………………………………13 ins.
Flathead, Tiger…………………………………13 ins.
Flounder, Large-toothed……………………9 ins.
Flounder, Small-toothed……………………9 ins.
Flounder, Long-snouted……………………8 ins.
Garfish, River…………………………………8.5 ins
Garfish, Sea…………………………………10 ins.
Garfish, Short-beaked………………………9 ins.
Groper, Blue…………………………………12 ins.
Groper, Red or Brown………………………12 ins.
Gurnard, Kumu (Red)……………………8 ins.
Gurnard, Sharp-beaked……………………9 ins.
Kingfish, Yellow-tail (Kingfish)……………14 ins.
Leatherjacket (Butterfish)…………………7 ins.
Long Tom, Slender…………………………12 ins.
Long Tom, Stout……………………………12 ins.
Luderick (Blackfish)………………………10 ins.
Mackerel, Common………………………6 ins.
Mackerel, Horse……………………………9 ins.
Morwong……………………………………11 ins.
Morwong, Red or Sea Carp………………9 ins.
Mullet, Flat-tail (or Fan-Tail)………………9 ins.
Mullet, Sand……………………………………9 ins.
Mullet, Sea……………………………………13 ins.
Mullet, Silver (Silver Flat)……………………  8 ins.
Mullet, Yellow-eye……………………………..  9 ins.
Mulloway (Jewfish)……………………………18 ins.
Pike, Long-finned……………………………9 ins.
Pike, Short-finned or Snoek……………….  9 ins.
Redfish (Nannygai)……………………………11 ins.
Sergeant Baker…………………………………..10 ins.
Salmon, Australian……………………………..  9 ins.
Shark, School or Snapper……………………26 ins.
Snapper ( including “Cockneys”,
Sole, Black………………………… 8 ins.
Tailor……………………………………………12 ins.
Tarwhine………………………………………9 ins.
Teraglin………………………………………15 ins.
Trevally………………………………………11 ins.
Whiting, sand or Silver……………………11 ins.
Whiting, School (Red spotted)……………8 ins.
Whiting, Spotted……………………………9.5 ins.
Whiting, Trumpeter…………………………8 ins.
Crayfish , Common…………………………10 ins.
Crayfish, Southern…………………………10 ins.
Note:
All fish are measured overall from the point of the snout to the end of the tail.
Crayfish along the body from the rostrum ( beak) to the tip of the tail.
Crayfish:
It is an offence to take or be in possession of any female crayfish which is carrying ova externally or any soft-shelled crayfish.
Oysters:
Oysters on any area which has been leased to an oyster farmer are, of course, his property and to interfere or remove them without his authority is an offence. However, on Crown Lands not so leased, or on any public oyster reserve, anyone can consume oysters on the spot. The public are warned that it is an offence to remove oysters (wether open or in the shell) from any public oyster reserve or any Crown Lands. Private oyster leases and public reserves are clearly marked with signs at each end.
In addition for public health reasons, consumption of oysters obtained from Cook’s River and certain portions of Sydney and Newcastle Harbours has been totally prohibited.
Red Bream and Squire…………………….11 ins.
CLOSURES – GENERAL
All closures of waters set out in the list hereunder should be construed as qualified by the following general prohibitions –
Total Prohibitions:
The capture of fish by the following methods is totally prohibited –
(a) Firearms or explosives.
(b) Stroke haul or snatch or any instrument or device used for the foul hooking of
(c) Spears aided by lights.
In addition, the use of spears, spearguns and similar devices for the taking of fish is totally prohibited in inland waters (i.e. waters above tidal influence) and in the whole of the waters within territorial limits on the whole of the ocean beaches of New South Wales exclusive.
Prohibition against the capture of certain species of fish:
The capture of the following species of fish by spearguns, etc. is totally prohibited:-
(a) Crayfish
(b) Bass (Australian bass, Estuary Perch or Eastern freshwater perch).
(c) Butterfly cod and Double headers in Lord Howe Island Waters.
(d) School sharks during month of November only.
Closures:
The following areas (in alphabetical order) are closed to the capture of fish by means of spears, spearguns and similar devices:-
BELLINGER RIVER – The whole of the waters of that part of Bellinger River, including South Lagoon, together with all its inlets, bays and creeks, upwards from a line joining the eastern extremities of the breakwaters to a line joining the north-western corner of Oyster Farm No.
45.388 and the south-eastern corner of Oyster Farm No. 40.124 and upwards in the North Arm of the river to a line joining the north-western corner of Oyster Farm No. 46.100 and the most northerly point of the northern training wall.
BERRINGER LAKE – See Conjola Lake.
BOAMBEE CREEK – From Railway bridge seawards to the South Pacific Ocean.
BONVILLE CREEK – Its inlets, creeks and channels seawards to the South Pacific Ocean from
Oyster Lease No. 50.159
BRISBANE WATER – Whole of the waters and its tributaries north of a line drawn from Box Head to Green Point.
fish.
BURRIL LAKE – Whole of the waters of that part of the entrance to Burrill Lake and affluants from a line drawn from Oyster Lease No. 54.126 at Thistleton’s Point to Oyster Farm No.
54.289 downstream to the South Pacific Ocean.
CLYDE RIVER – From causeway at Shallow Crossing upwards to its source.
CONJOLA LAKE AND BERRINGER LAKE – Whole of the tidal waters of Berringer Lake and that part of Conjola Lake and affluants from its entrance upwards to a line drawn from Roberts Point to the eastern boundary of the public oyster reserve proclaimed 14th December, 1916.
COOKS RIVER – Whole of the waters of Cooks River, its creeks and tributaries upwards to its source from its confluence with Botany Bay.
CUDGARA CREEK – The whole of the waters of Cudgara Creek together with its inlets, bays and tributaries from its source downwards to the South Pacific Ocean.
CUDGEE CREEK – The whole of the waters of that part of Cudgee Creek north of the traffic bridge at Kingscliffe.
DUCK RIVER – Its creeks and tributaries upwards to its source from its junction with the Parramatta River.
HASTINGS RIVER – Whole of the waters of that part of Hastings River, its inlets, bays, creeks and tributaries including the whole of the waters of Kooloonbung Creek within the following boundaries; commencing at the eastern extremity of the northern breakwater and bounded thence by the northern breakwater westerly, by the training wall westerly and northerly to the P.W.D. Coal wharf, by a line south-westerly to the northern prolongation of the eastern side of Park Street, by the southern foreshores of Hastings River south-easterly, by the foreshores of Kooloonbung Creek, again by the southern foreshores of Hastings River, easterly to the training wall, by the training wall and the southern breakwater to its eastern extremity and thence by a line to the point of commencement; and also the whole of the waters of Lake Innes, Cathie Creek and Cathie Lake, its creeks and tributaries.
HAWKESBURY RIVER and NEPEAN RIVER – together with all their creeks, inlets and tributaries, downwards from the junction of Nepean and Cataract Rivers to the junction of South Creek, approximately one mile below the town of Windsor.
HUNTER, WILLIAMS and PATTERSON RIVERS – Whole of the waters of the Williams River together with all its creeks, inlets and tributaries and the whole of the waters of that part of the Hunter River together with all its creeks, inlets and tributaries (including Patterson River) upwards to its source from its junction with the Williams River at Raymond Terrace.
KARUAH RIVER – And its tributaries extending from the falls situated approximately ¼ mile above the old Booral Wharf upwards to its source.
MACQUARIE RIVULET – Whole of the waters upwards from Lake Illawarra to its source.
MANLY COVE – Whole of the waters of Manly Cove (including Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company’s Swimming Pool) bounded by a line from the end of Manly Wharf 280 Deg. to the western shore of Manly Cove.
MINNAMURRA RIVER – And its tributaries downwards to the ocean from the Princess Highway traffic bridge.
NARRABEEN LAKES – And its tributaries, including Deep Creek, Middle Creek, South Creek and Mullet Creek, together with all their affluents and tributaries.
NAMBUCCA RIVER – Entrance waters upwards to a line drawn south-easterly from Oyster Farm No. 44.21 through the southern extremity of the northern training wall to the opposite bank.
NEPEAN RIVER – Within ¼ mile on each side of the weir at Penrith and within 100 yards upstream and ¼ mile downstream from the weir at Wallacia.
PORT HACKING – And its tributaries westward of a line drawn from Glaisher Point to Port Hacking Point.
RICHMOND RIVER – Whole of the waters from the eastern extremity of the northern breakwater and bounded thence by that breakwater and the training wall north-westerly to Missingham bridge; by that bridge to its western extremity; by a line bearing 163 degrees 30 minutes to the M.S.B. navigation marker; by the southern training wall and the breakwater north-easterly and easterly to the southern breakwater and then to the point of commencement.
SUSSEX INLET – Whole of the waters of Sussex Inlet from its entrance to the South Pacific Ocean upwards to its junction with St. Georges Basin, and that part of St. Georges Basin (or Jewfish Bay) south-westerly of a line drawn south-south-easterly from Kangaroo Point to a point marked broad-arrow over F.D. on the southern shore of the Basin, situated about 1 mile from a post at the junction of the southern shore of the Basin with the eastern shore of Sussex Inlet.
THROSBY CREEK (HUNTER RIVER) – Its bays, creeks and inlets lying northerly and westerly from the tramway and general traffic bridge across that creek leading from Wickham to Carrington.
TOM THUMB LAGOON – Whole of the waters west of a line drawn south-easterly from the tower at the sanitary depot to the shelter on the training wall.
TWEED RIVER – All entrance waters situated north of Ukerebagh Island, including the western or back channel and that portion of Boyd’s Bay on the eastern side of the bridge.
WALLIS LAKE – That portion of the entrance upwards from a line drawn between the eastern extremities of the northern and southern breakwaters to a line drawn from Oyster Farm No. 39.108 on Flat Island southerly to Oyster Farm No. 47.246 on Godwin Island thence north-easterly to Portion 27 of the Village of Forster.
A. G. KINGSMILL
Under Secretary,
Chief Secretary’s Department
1.12.59