The Inland Fisheries Service replaced the Inland Fisheries Commission in March 2000 under new legislation, the Inland Fisheries Act 1995, which established a Director of Inland Fisheries and the Inland Fisheries Advisory Council to advise the Minister responsible. The Act sets out the responsibilities of the Service, including its core functions and jurisdiction.
The previous Commission had operated as an autonomous statutory body since the late 1950's. It replaced the original Salmon Commission, which was set up in the early 1860’s with the aim of establishing a salmonid fishery in Tasmania. At that time, the ‘Salmon Ponds’ at Plenty was built by the Commission to grow live salmon and trout eggs shipped from England for the stocking of Tasmanian inland waters.
Under the Act, the Service has jurisdiction over fish in all inland waters in the State. This includes all waters on the inland side of the Seaward Limit, which is the boundary between marine and inland waters, and covers lakes, rivers, farm dams, registered private fisheries, ponds and aquaria.
Key areas of inland fisheries include the management of the Recreational Fishery, Commercial Fishery and biodiversity, which covers native fish conservation, pest fish management and freshwater habitat protection. The Inland Fisheries regulations govern all these areas and are enforced by the Compliance section of the Service, made up primarily of Inland Fisheries Inspectors and authorised officers.