Each state and territory has its 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 allow tackle shops to sell licenses, too.
Not all Australian states require you to purchase a recreational fishing license. Where they do most individuals will 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 Strait 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. A 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.
Quick Fishing License FAQ:
If you hold a Victorian Seniors Card or are the recipient of a Commonwealth Aged Pension, Disability Support Pension (DSP – aka “Invalid Pension”) then you do not need a Victorian fishing license.
This rule also applies if you are registered as a Permanently Incapacitated Person or receive a Service Pension.
Members of a “traditional owner group” within a traditional owner area do not need a fishing license. This applies to Australian indigenous persons, Aboriginal or Koori people.
The age you require a fishing license, in most Australian states, is 18 years old and under 70. This applies in states where a fishing license is normally required such as Victoria and New South Wales. States such as QLD and the NT do not need a fishing license at any age except in certain impoundments.
Yes, in most cases. The bank of the Murray River on the Victorian side belongs to NSW and is subject to NSW fishing regulations. Victorian’s must possess an NSW fishing license if they do not fit into an NSW exemption. The exceptions being Lake Mulwala and Lake Hume. Lake Mulwala is subject to NSW regulations and Lake Hume is subject to Victorian regulations. See details here.