Each state and territory has it’s own fishing regulation system, so there’s no national Australian fishing licence as such.
To make it easy for you we’ve got a list below. Keep in mind that some states and territories allows tackle shops to sell licenses, too.
Not all Australian states require you to purchase a recreational fishing license. Where they do most individuals wii require a license to fish in that Australian state. There are a variety of exceptions that vary between states. So you’ll need to check with that local state for exemptions. Typical exemptions include: Aboriginal & Torres Straight Islanders, Aged Pension & Disability Support Pensions, Children under a certain age etc.
Note – if you’re fishing on the Murray River, even on the Victorian side of the river, you will need a New South Wales fishing license as the Murray River is bound by NSW regulations and licensing, not Victorian.
Keep in mind that licensing is enforced, surprisingly often. Random checks of boats, piers and river banks do occur. This is good for fishing, because the proceeds go to the establishment of facilities like fishing cleaning sites. Improved jetties and piers. Local reef creation, stocking of freshwater rivers with game species, such as trout – and importantly some scientific study.
So, here’s a list of the websites, for each state, where you can get more information:
- Victorian Fishing License – VFA Website
- New South Wales Fishing Licenses – Service NSW Website
- Queensland No Recreational Fishing License Required – QLD Department of Fisheries
- Tasmania, Fishing Licensing – DPIPWE Tasmania Website
- South Australia – No License Required: Government South Australia Fisheries Website
- Western Australia Fishing License – Fish WA Government Website
- Northern Territory Rules & Regulations – NT Marine Website
- Canberra & ACT Regulations – Access Canberra Government Website
While it can feel like fishing licenses are an imposition or revenue raising activity by governments the fact is there are advantages. Fish stocks are not infinite. They require care, from each of us – and that sometimes means governments addressing issues.
By having a state bases rules and regulations system, rather than an Australian fishing licence, the appropriate funds are better spent on local projects, rather than being lost in the much larger federal level bureaucracy. Something that occurs with many other public funding sources. States get to choose. Choice is normally a good thing. It’s up to us, as state citizens, to ensure the choices made reflect our needs as anglers and the needs of the fish and environment.