Get yourself a copy of the Guide below and follow it's advice regarding bag and size limits, closed seasons etc.


And, make sure you have a current Fishing licence - heavy fine applies if you don't!




Make sure you know the rules


Fishing is our most popular recreational activity, so let's look after our fish stocks, and help them grow…


Become a catch and release angler….…and don’t take more than you need for a feed.


Make sure you know the rules about which species you can target and when, how many you're allowed (if any) and how big they have to be…and, never take the big old breeders…they're our fish incubators!


If you see someone breaking the rules …call 1800 RIVERWATCH (1800 748 379), anonymously if you like, and we'll connect you with the relevant authorities.


Record and report vehicle or boat registrations if possible.


Alternatively, call the Fisheries hotline for this purpose 1800 043 536 or click on this link to report an incident on-line





Use of Opera House traps


Catching yabbies is a great way to relax by the river, with many families enjoying this pastime. Sadly though, laws have had to be introduced as some types of yabby traps have proven to be deadly for turtles, platypus, birds and native water rats, in particular those commonly referred to as opera house traps.


For fishing along the Macquarie River this has particular significance as this river has a healthy platypus population, especially upstream from Dubbo and around Wellington - follow this link.



Two drowned turtles in an opera house trap. Make sure you know the rules about where and how you can use these, and never leave them unattended for more than a few minutes. Photograph: Stawell Times News.


Note - If you're fishing anywhere upstream of Dubbo and east of the Newell Highway, the use of Opera house traps is totally banned.


Downstream of Dubbo – west of the Newell Highway – they can be used, but must first be modified. The entrance funnel must have a bi-catch reduction device fitted that consists of a rigid ring with a maximum internal diameter of 90 mm permanently affixed.


Go to and search for the document 'Fishing for yabbies in New South Wales' to find out more. Or, refer to the current Freshwater Fishing Guide (see at left) for the relevant yabby fishing rules in your area.