etWhen fishing in NSW waters, both freshwater and saltwater, you are required by law to pay the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee and carry a receipt showing the payment of the fee. This applies when spear fishing, hand lining, hand gathering, trapping, bait collecting and prawn netting or when in possession of fishing gear in, on or adjacent to waters.

Licence fees are:

$7 - 3 days
$14 - 1 month
$35 - 1 year
$85 - 3 years


People under the age of 18 are exempt from paying the recreational fishing fee. Information on who is exempt from paying the recreational fishing fee is available here

Recreational Fishing Trusts

All money raised by the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee is placed into the Recreational Fishing Trusts and spent on improving recreational fishing in NSW. These trusts are regulated by law and overseen by two committees made up of recreational fishers - one for saltwater and one for freshwater.

Plastic receipts now available

If you pay for a one year or three year period online, over the phone, at a Touch agent or if you renew your licence using your renewal letter, you will receive a plastic receipt in the post. Evidence of payment is your receipt number which must be able to be produced if requested by an authorised officer (until you receive your receipt in the post).

Note: If you pay for a 3 day or 1 month period, no receipt will be posted.

Your fishing receipt must be carried whilst fishing.

If you're planning to fish from a charter boat or go with a fishing guide, ask the operator if you're covered by their exemption certificate. If the operator has paid an annual fee, you may not need to pay your own fishing fee receipt. A 50 per cent concession applies to people who only fish in the tidal waters of the Tweed River and prescribed adjacent beach areas.

To see what the Recreational Fishing Fee funds have been spent on go to Recreational Fishing Trusts.

© State of New South Wales through NSW Department of Industry