Whitebait Regulations

A person wishing to take and/or possess whitebait must hold a whitebait licence. Whitebait can only be taken during the open season at particular waters each year. The licence does not give the right to take or retain any other fish and it does not permit the sale of whitebait.

A person wishing to take and/or possess whitebait must hold a whitebait licence. Whitebait can only be taken during the open season at particular waters each year. The licence does not give the right to take or retain any other fish and it does not permit the sale of whitebait.

A person who has not attained the age of 10 years is not eligible to hold a whitebait licence and a person may not hold more than one whitebait licence at a time or transfer a licence to another person. There are strict requirements for the fishing method and equipment used to catch whitebait. It is an offence for a person to have a whitebait net at or near an inland water, unless the person has a whitebait licence and the particular water is open to whitebait fishing at the time.

Licence Purchase

Whitebait licences are available online from this website, from all Service Tasmania shops and the agents listed below:

AgentLocation
Inland Fisheries Service New Norfolk
Mountain Designs Devonport
Smithton Sports Smithton
Wells Home Hardware Latrobe
Somerset Newsagency Somerset
Tassie Tackle & Outdoor Burnie
Devonport Boat 'n Tackle Devonport
Corbs Servo Turners Beach

Licence Conditions

It is a condition of the Whitebait licence that the holder complies with the regulations governing whitebait fishing under the Inland Fisheries Act 1995, Inland Fisheries (Recreational Fishing) Regulations 2009 and subsequent Orders.  Complete versions of this legislation can be viewed on-line at www.thelaw.tas.gov.au

Season and Fishing Times

The season will open for six weeks from October 1 to 11 November. Whitebait can only be taken between the hours from sunrise to sunset.

Waters Open to Whitebait Fishing 2016

The rivers open for whitebait fishing are subject to a schedule of annual rotations of open and closed waters. Whitebait fishers will need to ensure that the river they are proposing to fish is open for that season.

Duck River (except 50 meters above or below the weir), Great Forester, Henty, Huon, Inglis, Mersy,  Montagu, Pieman, Derwent, Forth, kanamaluke/Tamar (including the Trevallyn Tailrace) and Rubicon (except 50 meters above or below the weir) Rivers.

Fishing in the vicinity of the River Forth Weir is now permitted following modifications to the weir which has facilitated the passage of whitebait.

Method of Fishing

A whitebait licence authorises the licence holder to use one whitebait net, which must carry a tag showing the number of the licence held by the user and the licensee must be within 8 m of the net when fishing. The net can be held by hand or tied off to suitable vegetation or staked using a metal or plastic peg only, but natural vegetation cannot be used as a stake.

A ‘whitebait net’ must not have any part (including the opening) exceeding 120 centimetres in circumference; an not be fitted with wings, leaders, screens or structures of any kind capable of diverting fish into the net, nor be constructed in such a way as to act in this manner; and be fitted with a funnel, screen, valve, or any other device so as to impede fish escaping from the net. Such a net may not be used from a boat except in the Pieman, Derwent, Henty and Huon rivers.

Catch and Possession Limits

A maximum daily catch by a licensee is 2 kg. Maximum catch per licence for the season is 10 kg.

Caution

A whitebait licence does not give the licence holder the right to take or retain any other fish species. It is an offence for a person to have a whitebait net at or on an inland water, unless the person has a licence to take whitebait and the particular water is open to whitebait fishing at the time. A whitebait licence does not infer the right to enter private property without permission of the landowner.