Update of 2018 Recreational Fishing Rules

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Update of 2018 Recreational Fishing Rules

Each year fisheries releases a Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide which shows if there has been any changes to rules. If you want a physical copy of the new Recreational guide you can request it through VFA by ringing the Customer Service Centre on 136 186. There is also a digital copy is available on the VFA website or you can also download the app for Android and Apple.


Stingrays, Banjo sharks, skates and rays. 

There has been a couple of changes to various species within Port Phillip Bay, the most recent one focusing on stingrays, skates and banjo sharks . There was a community concern about the treatment of banjo sharks and stingrays, with evidence showing they had been mistreated and harmed around piers, jetties and wharfs.

The rule changes are:

  • Prohibit the take or possession of stingrays, skates or guitarfish greater than 1.5 metres in wide
  • Reduce the combined daily bag limit for rays, skates and guitarfish less than 1.5 metres wide from 5 to 1
  • Prohibit the take of these species within 400 metres of any pier, jetty, wharf or breakwater

If you’re fishing and unintentionally catch a ray or skate, return it to the water as soon as possible without injury or suffering. Ideally, keep it in the water to gently remove the hook or cut the line as close to the hook as possible. If you catch a barbed ray, minimise handling and do your best to stay safe. Don’t place rays on hot dry surfaces; if you have to bring the ray up onto a pier/jetty wet the jetty and place down wet towels to assist.

Trout Fishing
Updates on trout fishing changes occured on Saturday 2nd September 2017. These rule changes compliment the current rules, these changes are:

  1. Introduction of a 25 cm minimum size for trout and reduced bag limit from 5 to 3 trout for the following waters:
    • Ovens River (upstream of Porepunkah Bridge),
    • Mitta Mitta River (upstream of Lake Dartmouth),
    • Nariel Creek (upstream of Colac Colac bridge),
    • Rubicon River.
  2. Introduction of a 45cm minimum size for brown trout and 30cm minimum size for rainbow trout in Toolondo Reservoir with a reduced bag limit from 5 to 3 trout per day.
  3. Introduction of a 45 cm minimum size for trout in Hepburn Lagoon with a reduced bag limit from 5 to 3 trout per day.
  4. Removal of the trout closed season for the Hopkins and Merri rivers.


Rock Lobster
The last major rule changed happened to Rock Lobster in July 2017, but specifics were not written in the 2017 guide. It is a legal requirement to tag your rock lobsters.

  • You must use tags even if you are exempt from holding a Recreational Fishing Licence.
  • You must only use the tags assigned to you.
  • Exception: children under 18 years and fishing for rock lobster under the direct supervision of an adult can use tags assigned to the adult.
  • Tags must be attached within 5 minutes of bringing rock lobster onto a boat, or if taken from the shore, within 5 minutes of landing and within 50 metres of the place of landing (these conditions are consistent with existing tail fin clipping requirements).

For more specifics about this rule change, please read the VFA’s website further describing the tagging program