What Are The Recreational Fishing Rules in NSW?

If you fish in either saltwater and freshwater waterways you are required by NSW Law to purchase a Recreational Fishing Licence. And, you must carry a receipt of your licence when fishing.

These rules apply when you are -

  • spearfishing
  • hand lining
  • hand gathering
  • trapping
  • bait collecting
  • prawn netting
  • in possession of fishing gear in, on or adjacent to waters.

What Are The Recreational Fishing Fees in NSW?

The following fees to fish in NSW are -

  • $7 for three days
  • $14 for one month
  • $35 for one year
  • $85 for three years

Where can I purchase a NSW recreational fishing licence?

You can purchase your recreational fishing licence -
NSW Government recreational fishing licence fee portal

How To Apply for a recreational fishing licence in NSW

You must pay the recreational fishing fee unless you're:

  • Under the age of 18 years
  • An adult helping a person under the age of 18 to take a fish using a single rod, or to take prawns using a single dip or scoop net
  • A person fishing in a private dam with a surface area of 2 hectares or less
  • A First Nation's person, or
  • The holder of any of the following:
    - Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card
    - Pensioner Concession Card issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA)
    - DVA Gold Card endorsed 'Totally and Permanently Incapacitated'
    - DVA Gold Card endorsed 'Extreme Disablement Adjustment'
  • a letter from the Commonwealth Department of Veterans' Affairs stating that you receive a disability pension of 70% or higher, or an intermediate pension.
  • holders of Seniors Cards, Health Care Cards and Repatriation Health Cards are not exempt from paying the fishing fee.

What you need

  • Your personal details
  • Your residential and postal address
  • The licence start date and duration

Fishing Licence Fee Exemptions In NSW

Recreational Fishing Fee Exemption Certificates for Businesses
If you have booked a fishing charter boat, hire boat or you are under the supervision of a fishing guide then you may be exempt from having to purchase a recreational fishing licence in NSW. If the charter boat hire or guide hold a Recreational Fishing Fee Exemption Certificate then you dont need to purchase a licence. If they do not hold a Recreational Fishing Fee Exemption Certificate you will need to pay the NSW recreational fishing licence fee.

Do you need a refund for your NSW fishing licence fee receipt?

If you are exempt from the NSW recreational fishing fee, you can request a refund by completing the application for a refund (PDF, 347.19 KB).

Fishing Licence Agents

There are over 3150 agents licenced to sell Recreational Fishing Licences in New South Wales. You can download load the Excel list which provides the business name, address and phone number.

Fishing Agent Supply Request Form

A licence agent can request further supplies by completing the Agent supply request form (DOC, 26 KB) or agent supply requests can be emailed to: recfish.licensing@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

If purchasing your fishing licence online, please ensure you are using one of the following browsers:

Recreational Fishing Trusts

All money raised by the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee is placed into the Recreational Fishing Trusts and spent on improving recreational fishing in NSW. These trusts are regulated by law and overseen by two committees made up of recreational fishers - one for saltwater and one for freshwater.

Plastic receipts

If you pay for a one year or three years recreational fishing licence period online, over the phone or if you renew your licence using your renewal letter, you will receive a plastic receipt in the post. Evidence of payment is your receipt number, which must be able to be produced if requested by an authorised officer (until you receive your receipt in the post).

If you pay for a three day or one month period, no receipt will be posted.

Your fishing receipt must be carried whilst fishing.

Have you changed address?

If you have changed address since you last purchased your NSW fishing licence fee receipt, you can update your contact details either by:

  • phoning 02 4424 7499 during business hours
  • emailing: recfish.licensing@dpi.nsw.gov.au
  • online (please note: your email address and mobile number need to be on record with us if you wish to update your address online) 

You can also update your contact details when you renew your licence online. When emailing or phoning to update your address, please provide your licence number and name plus your new contact details.

Digital receipts

You can now link your NSW fishing fee receipt digitally on your smartphone.

Please note: A current email address and mobile number must be listed on the NSW Fisheries database for any fisher to successfully link their fishing fee receipt digitally with the My Service NSW application. The same email and mobile number must be used for the My Service NSW application.

If you need to update these details, please call DPI Fisheries first on: 02 4424 7499 or email: recfish.licensing@dpi.nsw.gov.au and advise your current email address and mobile phone number. It takes approximately 1 hour for these details to update once the amendment has been finalised.

Have you lost your fishing licence fee receipt?

If your recreational fishing licence fee receipt has been lost or stolen, you can request a replacement by completing the application form for a replacement (PDF, 35.82 KB). You will be charged an $8.00 processing fee for plastic card replacements.