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Eastern Beach, K'Gari (Fraser Island).

Eastern Beach, K'Gari (Fraser Island).

Recreational fishing is permitted in some national parks and marine park zones, but can be restricted to specific areas within a park. Occasionally, it may be temporarily disallowed for management or safety reasons.

Where you can fish

In each region

Around Brisbane | Around Townsville | Cape York Peninsula | Central Coast | Mackay/Proserpine | North Queensland | Outback Queensland | Sunshine Coast | West of Brisbane |

In national parks

For information about the rules relating to fishing in national parks, please read the QPWS Operational policy: Recreational fishing on protected areas (PDF, 119K).

In marine parks

If you are planning to fish in a marine park, it is important to check the zoning maps first to find out whether fishing is permitted in that area, and what rules apply. For zoning maps and information, see:

Permits and fees

Recreational fishing

You do not need a permit for private recreational fishing in Queensland's marine and national parks. However, those conducting commercial fishing tours, organised group activities and competitive events do require permits.

See the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website for information on fishing bag and size limits.

You will require a camping permit if you want to camp while you are fishing in a national park (fees apply).

Commercial fishing

Commercial fishing is not permitted in national parks, but is allowed in some marine park zones. For more information see:


  • Live bait cannot be taken into any national park unless it is an invertebrate (e.g. worms and shrimps) and caught immediately adjacent to the park—see section 124 of the Nature Conservation (Protected Areas Management) Regulations 2006.
  • Hand gathering insects and other invertebrates (except for freshwater spiny crayfish) to use as bait for recreational fishing may be allowed in national parks, subject to certain conditions (see section 62 of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and section 47 and schedule 6 of the Nature Conservation (Protected Areas Management) Regulations 2006.
  • Imported, raw prawns sold at supermarkets may carry diseases which could then be introduced into Australian waterways. These diseases could have devastating consequences on prawn populations (both farmed and in the wild). Prawns purchased from the supermarket are meant for human consumption only and should not be used as bait. For more information go to the check your bait website

Staying safe

  • Carry at least one form of communication equipment. Satellite phones and EPIRBs are the most effective, as mobile phone coverage is unreliable.
  • Carry a first-aid kit and know how to use it.
  • Be croc wise in croc country.
  • Beware of dangerous stinging jellyfish.
  • Avoid touching marine animals, as some have painful and dangerous stings.

Minimise your impact

Sunfish code of conduct

  • Care for the park and protect the natural environment.
  • Stay on established tracks, especially on beaches.
  • Keep your noise down and don't harass wildlife.
  • Be careful when anchoring.
  • Refuel on land to avoid pollution.
  • Discharge no waste into the water.
  • Be courteous to other park visitors. Don't boat close to shore fishers or swimmers.
  • Remove your rubbish to protect wildlife and prevent pollution.
  • Dump no fish offal or unwanted bait.
  • Remove unwanted fishing lines, plastics and hooks from the park.
  • Report any pollution or fishkill.
  • Look after yourself. Seek local advice about potential dangers, and never risk your life to land a fish.
  • Make sure it is legal to fish in the park and respect any fishing closures.
  • Never introduce any live fish into park waterways.
  • Collect only enough bait for your immediate needs.
  • Release any unwanted live bait into the same area where it was collected.
  • Use legal tackle.
  • Use barbless hooks, where possible, and avoid using stainless steel hooks which don't dissolve.
  • Kill legal fish required for food immediately and store them in a cool place.
  • Return unwanted fish to the water immediately. Handle the fish gently to minimise stress.
  • Practise sustainable fishing—take only what you need.

Go slow for those below

When boating in shallow areas or designated 'go slow' areas, watch out for turtles, dugong and other marine animals.

Report incidents and strandings

Report incidents such as marine pollution incidents including oil, diesel and sewage spills to Marine Safety Queensland.

Please report all stranded, injured or dead dugong, whales, dolphins and turtles to the department.


Last updated
14 January 2020