Murray Cod Catch And Release Begins 1 January

7 January 2016

The Murray Cod fishery will open on January 1, 2016, allowing fishers to catch and release the popular species until July 31.

PIRSA Regional Operations Manager, Randel Donovan, said the catch and release program provides ongoing protection for this iconic fish.

“The Murray Cod is a vital species for the ecology of the river system so adhering to restrictions is extremely important for recreational fishers and the River Murray community,” Mr Donovan said.

“It is illegal to lift any size Murray Cod out of the water in South Australia, so during the catch and release season fishers must carefully extract or release the hook while the fish is still submerged in the water.

“While we encourage recreational fishers to enjoy the catch and release season, we ask them to make sure they understand and comply with the rules to ensure that everyone plays their part in protecting this prized species into the future.”

Failure to comply with the rules and regulations, including lifting the Murray Cod out of the water, which can be detrimental to the fish health, can result in hefty on-the-spot fines or a maximum penalty of $10,000 if prosecuted.

The following handling techniques are recommended:

  • Avoid using light lines and playing the fish to exhaustion
  • Use barbless hooks or barbless trebles on lures
  • Use a knotless landing net to support the fish in the water
  • Cut the line outside the mouth for deep hooked fish and don’t try to remove the hook
  • If using a fish grip, don’t hold the fish vertically in the water.

Under the current Murray Cod management arrangement, it is also illegal to target or take Murray Cod from any section of the Chowilla floodplain all year round.

Anyone who spots suspicious illegal fishing activity can report it to the 24 hour Fishwatch number 1800 065 522 or through the free SA Recreational Fishing Guide smartphone app, which can be downloaded from