ANGLERS around the state can now get back to reeling in some of our finest native sportfish with the re-opening of the Australian Bass and Estuary Perch season on September 1.
An annual four-month fishing closure from May through to August had been in place in all NSW rivers and estuaries to protect these species during spawning.
Department of Primary Industries (DPI) program leader Stocking and Fisheries Enhancement Operations, Jim Harnwell, said the zero bag limit protects the fish species while they spawn over winter.
"During the winter months, these popular native sport fish species form large groups and migrate to parts of estuaries with the right salinity to trigger spawning," he said.
"This closure protects the fish species during this spawning period to ensure they can remain a popular catch with recreational fishers for many generations to come."
After their spawning period, most fish will return to their spring and summer feeding grounds higher up in the catchment.
However, anglers are reminded that a total bag limit of two Australian Bass or Estuary Perch per person, or a combination of both species with a possession limit of four, is in place.
When fishing in rivers, only one fish is permitted to be over 35cm in length.
Fisheries officers have warned they will be out in force to monitor compliance.
There was a more than 44 per cent increase in fines since 2018 as part of the NSW Government's blitz on protecting and enhancing the state's aquatic resources.
There were 3,172 fines issued in 2020 under the Fisheries Management Act 1994, up from 2,782 in 2019 and 2,230 in 2018.
Information on freshwater fishing rules can be found in the NSW Recreational Fishing Guide available from NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries offices or the NSW DPI website www.dpi.nsw.gov.au.
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