Protected species

Some fish species are protected and must not be taken:

  • at any time
  • during certain stages of their life cycle, for example during their reproductive period
  • during certain times of the year
  • from particular closed areas or reserves.

Protected species that are caught must be returned to the water immediately. Learn how to handle your catch and safely release the fish back into the water. Anyone who takes or causes harm to a protected species may face heavy fines.

Freshwater protected species

Ambassis, Mogurnda, Nannoperca genus

Includes:

  • purple-spotted gudgeon
  • chanda perch
  • pygmy perch sp.

Status: protected at all times.

Chanda Perch

Sth_Gudgeon

Ewen_Pygmy_Perch

Sth_Pygmy_Perch

River Blackfish

River_Blackfish

Location: River Murray.

Status: protected at all times.

Catfish (Cooper Creek)

Location: Cooper Creek in Lake Eyre Basin.

Status: protected at all times.

Catfish (Hyrtl’s and Silver Tandan)

Location: Cooper Creek in Lake Eyre Basin.

Status: protected at all times.

Catfish (Freshwater)

River_Murray_Catfish

Location: River Murray.

Status: protected at all times.

Murray Cod

mur_cod

Location: River Murray.

Status:

  • Catch and release only 1 January - 31 July.
  • Closed all year round in Chowilla.
  • See the closures list for seasonal closure information.

View Murray Cod recreational fishing guide (DOCX 660.0 KB)

Murray River Crayfish

cray_fw

Location: River Murray.

Status: protected at all times.

Silver Perch

Silver_Perch

Location: River Murray.

Status: protected at all times.

Trout Cod

Trout_Cod

Location: River Murray.

Status: protected at all times.

Yabbies

yabbie

Location: all waters.

Status: protected when eggs are attached. It is an offence to physically remove eggs.

Southeast freshwater crayfish

s

Location: Southeast South Australia.

Status: protected at all times.

Marine protected species

Abalone

abalone

Status:

Protected at all times in:

Blue Groper

groper

Status: see closures page for information about where blue gropers are protected.

Bugs: Slipper Lobster, Balmain Bugs

Balmain-Bug

Status: protected when carrying external eggs.

Blue Swimmer Crab

Status: protected when carrying external eggs.

Giant Crab

Status: protected when carrying external eggs.

Sand Crab

Status: protected when carrying external eggs.

White Shark

White shark

Status: protected at all times. See the fishing restrictions for sharks page for more information.

Rock Lobster

Status:

Squid

Status: protected in the waters of False Bay, Whyalla.

Syngnathidae family

seadragons

Includes all:

  • seadragons
  • seahorses
  • pipefish
  • pipehorses.

Status: Protected at all times, whether dead or alive. A penalty of up to $4,000 applies to anyone taking these fish.

Marine mammals

All marine mammals including:

  • whales
  • seals
  • sea lions
  • dolphins

are protected at all times in South Australian waters.

Heavy fines apply to anyone causing harm to marine mammals.
Phone Fishwatch on 1800 065 522 for more information or to report an offence.

Page Last Reviewed: 05 Mar 2018
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