Fishing in the Georges River

5 Ludderick fish, a pale grey medium sized fish with stripes, swimming in blue water, over green seagrass

Recreational fishing
Fishing is a very popular activity in the Georges River. There was commercial fishing in Botany Bay from 1790 until 2002, after which it became a Recreational Fishing Haven. In the upper freshwater reaches of the river, bass and eels are targeted by anglers. But, most fishing occurs in the lower estuarine reaches of the river, where bass, bream, flathead, whiting, tailor,luderick, kingfish, mullet, mulloway and perch may be caught.

Popular spots
It is possible for recreational anglers to find many locations along the Georges River for fishing both from the shoreline and from boats. Popular estuarine fishing locations include the bridges (Captain Cook Bridge,Tom Uglys Bridge, Como Bridge, Milperra A34 Bridge), Dolls Point, Kogarah Bay, Wooloware Bay, Gwawley Bay, Bald Face Point, Woronora River, Oatley Bay, the Moon Bays around Lugarno, mouth of Salt Pan Creek, Georges River National Park, Mill Creek, Lambeth Reserve and Williams Creek.

Fish habitats
Important natural habitats for fish in the Georges River and tributaries include deep holes, large wood, mangroves (pictured below), seagrasses and saltmarsh. Saltmarsh is a very important source of food supporting recreationally important fish.Recreational fishing regulations are intended to support sustainable fishing that allows growth and breeding to conserve fish stocks and aquatic habitats. Such regulations includes size limits, bag limits, restrictions on use of some types of gear (e.g. nets) and prohibition of selling recreationally caught fish.

Restricted areas
Fishing is restricted within the Towra Point Aquatic Reserve. It’s a source of fish for the surrounding area and includes a sanctuary zone and a refuge zone within its boundaries. Within the sanctuary zone,recreational fishing and collection of invertebrates and marine vegetation (whether alive or dead) is prohibited. Within the refuge zone it is possible to catch fish by line and hook, plus use recreational nets, but not collect invertebrates or marine vegetation.There are also fishing closures at: Kogarah Bay for bivalves and whelk; Wooloware Bay for shellfish; and, Gwawley Bay and Woronora River for netting any fish. Oysters can not be taken from anywhere in Georges River or Botany Bay, except in accordance with NSW Shellfish Program under Food Regulation 2004 (see Department of Primary Industries for more information about closures).

Dietary advice
Warnings are in place owing to concentrated industrial pollutants: FISH AND SHELLFISH SHOULD NOT BE EATEN if caught in Georges River and its tributaries upstream from Rabaul boat ramp at Georges Hall, including Prospect Creek, Cabramatta Creek and Chipping Norton Lakes. The same warning applies for Salt Pan Creek and its tributaries, upstream of Henry Lawson Drive at Padstow. If you regularly catch fish in Botany Bay and the lower
Georges River, there is new advice on how much of each fish type you can eat. Low levels of PFAS (per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) have been identified in fish of the Botany Bay area, likely related to past use of fire fighting foam in the area. The Department of Primary Industries
advises people who frequently fish in this area to limit the number of servings of individual species.
For details see www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/pfasresponse

Be a responsible angler:
• Observe size and bag limits, plus any other restrictions in the area where you are fishing.
• It is stressful being pulled out of your home by a hook in your mouth, so learn and apply best practice catch and release techniques (deep hooking and poor handling reduce survival of released fish).
• Take home all rubbish, including fishing line, hooks and bait bags.
• Avoid causing damage to seagrass, saltmarsh and mangrove habitats.
• When possible, use environmentally friendly fishing tackle such as lead-free sinkers, biodegradable fishing line and non-stainless steel hooks.
• Pay necessary NSW Recreational Fishing Fees, which are used to improve resources and information for recreational fishing.
• Do not take any unnecessary risks whilst fishing, e.g. don’t enter water to retrieve snagged gear or someone else that has fallen into the water, stay alert to changes in weather, inform others of your fishing plans.
• Report illegal fishing activity to Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536.
• Share sightings of unusual animals or plants at your favourite fishing location on Redmap. www.redmap.org.au
• Avoid animals that can cause injury, such as sharks, stingrays, blue-ringed octopus and bluebottles.

Check out our fishing map for more information about fishing and recreational facilities in the Georges River catchment.
 

Other stories

With the help of Georges Riverkeeper and City of Canterbury Bankstown, Conservation Volunteers Australia volunteers braved the rain to begin revegetating at Little Salt Pan Creek in the Georges River catchment with over 3,000 Sporobolus virginicus seedlings.

There is now an interactive map to show you where to walk, cycle, swim, fish and boat along the Georges River, and you’re invited to contribute your favourite walks and lookouts.

Georges Riverkeeper Chairman, Geoff Shelton, said: “The Georges River is over 100 km long so it can be difficult to know where the best spots are to enjoy the river.”