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Show Bioregions

Trout, brown

Salmo trutta
Open seasons

Waters south of Greenough (29°S) and above the tidal influence, including all lakes, dams, rivers and their tributaries.  


All drinking water supply dams managed by the Water Corporation are closed to fishing. Please contact the Water Corporation for details. 

No fishing is permitted in the Shannon River at any time. 

A freshwater angling licence is required for all freshwater angling in waters south of Greenough (29°S) and above the tidal influence, including all lakes, dams, rivers and their tributaries.

Fishing methods

  • A licence permits the use of a fishing rod and line or a hand-held line only.
  • Only one line may be used at any time.
  • The use of both lures and bait is permitted.
  • Anglers may possess only a short-handled (maximum 500 mm) net within 50 m of the waterline of most dams and rivers all year round.

Apply for a new licence or renew an existing licence online

Alternatively, application forms are available from Department of Fisheries offices and online.

Additional rules and information

Size limits allow fish to reach maturity to complete their breeding cycle. Measure all your fish and return undersize or excess fish alive to the water.

Bag limits assist in sharing the resource and contribute to the sustainable management of the State’s fish stocks.

A daily bag limit is the maximum number of fish that you may take or bring onto land in any 24-hour period, from midnight to midnight (except from midday to midday for marron, prawns and when recreational netting).

For rules about fish kept and stored beyond 24 hours, see 'Possession limit' for details.

Individual species daily bag limit

This is the maximum number of an individual species that you may take within your total mixed species daily bag limit.

For demersal finfish, large pelagic finfish and nearshore/esturarine finfish, an individual daily bag limit for a group of species applies to each of the individual species in that group. 

For example, emperors (except blue-lined emperor) have an individual daily bag limit of three in all bioregions except the West Coast. They are also within a mixed species daily bag limit of five (across all demersal scalefish for these bioregions).

Mixed species daily bag limit

This is the combined maximum number of fish of any species within one category (such as demersal, large pelagic, nearshore/estuarine) that you may take.

For example, demersal finfish in the West Coast Bioregion has a total mixed bag limit of two fish:

Within the mixed daily bag limit, you cannot exceed the stated individual species daily bag limit. For example, you may only take a maximum of one coral trout per day.

For freshwater finfish, baitfish, crustceans, molluscs and other invertebrates - where species are displayed together as a group, rock lobsters for example - the bag limit applies to the group as a whole.

To protect fish and their habitats in key environments, some activities are banned. In particular you are not allowed to:

  • use fish traps or ‘pots’ of any kind (except lobster pots and octopus trigger traps – see the website for further information);
  • use dredges;
  • obstruct any bay, inlet, river, creek or any tidal or inland waters so that fish are enclosed, left stranded, destroyed or wasted;
  • be in possession of explosives or noxious substances (for example, fish poisons);
  • ‘jag’ (deliberately foul-hook) fish;
  • use commercial fishing gear of any kind;
  • use set-lines; or
  • attach fish hooks to lobster pots, anchors and anchor lines or moorings.

Note: Fishing tackle stores may carry gear that does not meet WA legal requirements. In particular, the use of crab traps, ‘opera house’ traps and bait jigs with more than three hooks are illegal in WA waters. Please check before you make a purchase.

For bag and size limits, finfish are categorised according to their aquatic environment:

A – Pelagic

B – Demersal

C – Nearshore

D – Estuarine

E – Freshwater

Dotted line – 20 m depth mark 


In some cases there are rules that apply to specific biological regions – the North Coast, Gascoyne Coast, West Coast or South Coast bioregions.

The FishWatch phone line provides a quick and easy way to report sightings or evidence of:

  • illegal fishing;
  • aquatic pests; and
  • aquatic diseases (including fish kills).

You can also report illegal or suspicious fishing activities via our online form

Illegal fishing could include someone netting in the river, exceeding their bag or possession limits, taking undersize fish, fishing in a closed area, having more fishing gear in the water than they should or illegally selling recreationally caught fish.

Before you call or report online, note:

  • How many people you saw.
  • Who they were. Did you hear/know any of their names?
  • What they were doing.
  • Where it happened; the nearest known landmark or intersection of the closest road.
  • What type of equipment, cars or boats, registration numbers and descriptions.
  • When it happened: time and date. Is it something that is happening right now, while you are making a report, or was it something you observed previously?

Your reports are treated in strict confidence. We recommend you do not approach anyone you think is involved in illegal activity relating to fish or fishing.

If you don’t wish to contact us through FishWatch you can pass information to your local Fisheries office or to Fisheries Officers.

Call FishWatch now - 1800 815 507.

Interfering with another person's fishing gear or catch, selling recreationally caught fish and other similar offences can result in penalties of up to $400,000, imprisonment for four years and loss of boats, vehicles and equipment.

Offenders may also lose the privilege of engaging in a licensed fishing activity.

Legal fishing gear is outlined below; everything else is illegal.

  • Rods, lines and hooks – you can only use a maximum of one bait or lure on each line fishing for demersal scalefish in the West Coast Bioregion. You can only use a maximum of three baits or lures on each line when fishing in other areas or for other species categories. Shore-based fishers may use a maximum of two fishing lines. Rods and lines must be attended.
    Note: To catch barramundi, you are only permitted to use a single rod, reel and line or a single hand-held line.
  • Rock lobster pots – fishers (including divers) must not remove form the water or interfere with any rock lobster pot that does not belong to them. Fishers who come across someone else's pot that appears snagged or with unmarked floats or without a rope and float attached, are encouraged to record the GPS coordinates and report it to a Fisheries Officer or through Fishwatch.
  • Spearfishing – generally allowed in ocean waters, except in some marine protected areas and around dive wrecks. Further information on specific restrictions in marine protected areas is available from your local Fisheries office or through our location search – click on the 'View map' link at the top of this page or search for your location. 
    All inland waters (rivers, tributaries and dams) are closed to spearfishing. However, the use of a hand spear (gidgie) is permitted to take estuarine cobbler in estuaries.
  • Haul, set and throw fishing nets – most of the State is closed to set and haul netting. See our Recreational Net Fishing Guide for details.
  • Release weights – required if line fishing for demersal species Statewide.

In WA, licences are required for:

  • use of a powered boat to fish or to transport your catch or fishing gear to or from a land- based fishing location (Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence);
  • rock lobster;
  • abalone;
  • marron;
  • South-west (south of 29°S) freshwater angling; and
  • net fishing (set, haul and throw nets).

The licence covers a 12-month period from the date of issue.

With the exception of the above, you do not require a licence to fish from the shore.

You must produce your licence when requested by a Fisheries and Marine Officer. 

How to get a licence

Apply for a new licence or renew an existing licence online. Alternatively, application forms are available from Department of Fisheries offices and online.

Fishing licences issues in other states are not valid in Western Australia.

Measure finfish from the point of the snout to the tip of the tail.

Pick up a free fish ruler sticker from Department of Fisheries offices or participating retail stores.

The maximum quantity of finfish (includes scalefish, sharks and rays) you may have in your possession – either whole or in pieces – is:

  • 10 kg of finfish fillets*, of any species, no skin required, plus an additional 10kg of fillets from large pelagic species such as mackerel, tuna and shark with skin on; or
  • 10 kg of fish fillets of any species and one day’s bag limit of whole fish or fish trunks; or
  • two days’ bag limit of whole fish or fish trunks.

At the Abrolhos Islands the possession limit is:

  • 5 kg of fish fillets of any species, plus 5 kg of fillets from large pelagic finfish (must have skin attached for identification purposes); OR
  • one day’s bag limit of whole fish or fish trunks.

In Shark Bay’s Freycinet Estuary Management Zone, the possession limit is:

  • 5 kg of fish fillets of any species; or
  • one day’s bag limit of whole fish or fish trunks.

*You may be in possession of 20 kg of fish fillets of any species at your permanent place of residence, or if you have participated in extended fishing tour involving overnight accommodation on a charter boat, provided the fish are labelled with the person's full name, the name of the charter boat and the date that the tour ended. 

Definitions and exclusions

‘Fillet’ means any particular piece of a finfish, other than a whole fish, fish trunk, head, tail, fin, backbone or wing. For these pieces to be excluded from the possession limit they must be entirely removed from the fillet. ‘Trunk’ means a fish that has had its head and tail removed. Large pelagic species such mackerel can be cut in two pieces and still considered one whole fish or fish trunk. 

These limits apply throughout WA, including permanent and temporary places of residence.

The following baitfish are not included in the finfish possession limit: hardyhead (Atherinidae), sardines/pilchards (Clupeidae), whitebait (Engraulidae), garfish (Hemiramphidae) and mullet (Mugilida).

Commercially purchased fish are not included, but you may be asked for proof of purchase.

Some species have a specific possession limit, including barramundi.

Note: Unless it can be proven otherwise, you are assumed to be in possession/control of the fish if you are using/in control of a vessel, vehicle, refrigerator, freezer, icebox or other storage device in which fish are found.

Labelling stored fish

If the quantity of fish stored in a single container/freezer exceeds one person’s possession limit, the fish must be clearly labelled with the name of the owner(s).

Labels, of at least 75 mm long and 25 mm wide, must be securely attached to each container or package of fish. The full name of the owner must be legibly written on the label and be clearly visible for inspection.

Labels are not needed if:

  • You are within your daily bag limit and still on your fishing trip.
  • The fish are in the possession and under the direct physical control of the person who took the fish and are not stored with anyone else’s fish (unless the fish were taken as part of an extended fishing tour).

Landing filleted or processed fish

Unless they are being prepared for immediate consumption or being eaten, estuary cod, Malabar cod and barramundi (which all have a maximum size limit)  must be carried whole at sea (although can be gutted and gilled), on estuaries and on rivers and landed whole.  

Fish without a size limit can be carried at sea and landed:

  • Filleted, skin on;
  • Trunked, skin on; or
  • Whole (can be gutted and gilled).

Note: These rules also apply if you are returning from an island.

Transporting of unaccompanied fish

Unaccompanied recreationally caught fish cannot be transported by commercial couriers (or any other person). You must accompany your fish if transporting it by land, sea or air.