VIC Fishing Rules

Fishing in Australian salt and fresh waters is governed by state rules and regulations and must be strictly followed as these laws are in place to ensure fisheries are ecologically sustainable. This guide touches on the rules and regulations for recreational fishing in Victoria.


The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) employs more than 2,600 staff who work from about 80 locations across the state. The department was established in December 2002 and is one of 10 Victorian Government departments, reporting to the Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Energy and Resources. The division that takes care of fishing and aquaculture is Fisheries Victoria.


Please use this article as a guide only and take the time to find out more about recreational fishing rules and regulations in Victoria.

Recreational Fishing in VIC

You must obtain a Recreational Fishing Licence (RFL) for all forms of recreational fishing in any of Victoria's marine, estuarine and freshwaters. This includes taking, or attempting to take, any species of fish by any method such as line fishing, bait collection, gathering shellfish, yabby fishing, prawning and spear fishing. You will not need a licence to fish if you are under 18 years of age or if you are a holder card such as a Victorian Seniors Card or Veterans’ Affairs Card to name a few.

There is a number of Victorian Recreational Fishing Licence options for Victorian anglers to purchase and are outlined below:
  • Two day recreational fishing licence is $5.50

  • 28 day recreational fishing licence Is $11.00

  • One year recreational fishing licence is $22.00

  • Three year recreational fishing licence is $60.00
The RFL may be purchased to come into effect on a future date for up to one year from the date of purchase. An RFL may not be loaned or transferred to another person. Revenue from fishing licence fees is being spent to improve angling opportunities and fish habitats in Victoria. For more information, click Victorian Recreational Fishing Licence

Protected Species

There is a list of species including threatened fish and crustacea that are protected by the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act 1988. This list is continuously updated so it is wise to be aware of all the species that must not be taken. Some fish species that are fully protected and therefore must not be taken are Australian grayling and trout cod. If a trout cod is accidently caught, it must be carefully and immediately returned back to the water. There are authorisations made under the FFG Act which allow recreational fishing for Murray cod, silver perch, southern bluefin tuna and a few others, however, there are strict conditions to follow and these rules are outlined in the Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide

There are a number of species such as pipefish and seahorses that are fully protected under the Fisheries Act 1995 and the taking or possessing of these as well as any others listed is prohibited without a permit issued under the Act.

Bag Limit, Possession Limit and Fishing Closures

There are many PDFs available from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) website, all of which have easy to follow information regarding the rules and regulations for recreational fishing. There are some detailed and rather visually attractive sections on bag and possession limits, conditions regarding specific protected fish such as Murray cod as well as closures for freshwater and saltwater fishing within Victoria. The scale fish bag/possession limits restrict the combined take or possession of all scale fish species (other than noxious species and the listed ‘exempted species’) to a total of 40 fish per person. More information on this is provided in the PDFs titled ‘Limits and Closed Seasons’ in the Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide

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