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Murray Cod Catch and Release Season Closes

Updated: May 8, 2020

The annual recreational fishing closure for Murray Cod takes effect on Thursday 1 August 2019.

The seasonal closure will remain in place until 31 December to protect local Murray Cod populations in the River Murray and Lower Lakes during their spawning season.

Under the closure rules, fishers in the South Australian section of the River Murray and Lower Lakes are not permitted to target the species.

A ban on trolling for all freshwater fish species in the River Murray, Lakes Alexandrina and Albert (including all anabranches) is also in place during the closure.

PIRSA Executive Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture Sean Sloan reminded fishers that if they accidentally catch a Murray Cod, they are not permitted to lift or remove Murray Cod from the water as they carefully release it from the line.

“Murray Cod is an important native fish species and an iconic freshwater fish that is popular with recreational fishers and the River Murray community in general,” Mr Sloan said. “Anyone found taking or targeting Murray Cod during the closed season could face a penalty of up to $20,000.”

If you spot suspicious or illegal fishing activity, report it on the 24 hour Fishwatch line 1800 065 522 or with the free SA Recreational Fishing Guide smartphone app which you can download from

Murray Cod is a vulnerable species in South Australia and population numbers in the South Australian section of the River Murray remain historically low.

The Murray Cod catch and release season is open from 1 January to 31 July annually. The public can enjoy fishing for this species, but, once caught, the fish must be unhooked and released back in to the water immediately.

The Murray Cod is one of the largest native freshwater fish in Australia and has been listed as a threatened species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 since 2003.

For more information on management and handling of Murray Cod visit

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