Murray spiny freshwater crayfish

Common name/sMurray spiny freshwater crayfish
Scientific nameEuastacus armatus
Minimum legal size 10cm carapace length
Maximum legal size 12cm carapace length
Bag limit 2
Possession limit

There is a statewide possession limit for Murray spiny freshwater crayfish of 4. This is the maximum number of Murray spiny freshwater crayfish that a person can possess at any one time anywhere in Victoria (including your home).

Additional information

Murray spiny freshwater crayfish are subject to a closed season, meaning they cannot be taken or possessed on, in or near Victorian waters during this time. The closed season for Murray spiny freshwater crayfish is 1 September to 31 May for waters north of the Great Dividing Range (see map below).

You may not possess female Murray spiny freshwater crayfish with eggs, or with young attached, or remove eggs from a Murray spiny freshwater crayfish.

You must return females in berry (carrying eggs) or carrying young to the water immediately and without further harm.

Murray spiny freshwater crayfish must be retained whole or in carcass form. This means you need to keep your cray in whole form (i.e. don't remove the tail from the carapace) until they are taken home.

The Great Dividing Range

"Map showing Horsham, Ballarat, Bendigo, Marysville and Wangaratta"

Collection methods for Murray spiny freshwater crayfish

You may collect Murray spiny freshwater crayfish:

  • by hand
  • by using up to 10 baited lines (no hooks)
  • by using up to 5 labelled hoop nets in the streams, tributaries and impoundments of the following waters:
    • Carrol's Creek
    • Ryans Creek
    • Wodonga Creek
    • The Ovens River system
    • The Tarra River system
    • The Latrobe River system
    • The Kiewa River system
    • The Mitta Mitta River system (excluding Lake Dartmouth)
    • The Glenelg River system (excluding Rocklands Reservoir)
    • The Goulburn River system (excluding Lake Eildon)
    • Waranga Basin
  • by using a combined total of 10 labelled nets (either hoop nets or open top lift nets) in all other inland waters, including Lake Eildon, Rocklands Reservoir and Lake Dartmouth.

Please note that the Murray River is governed by NSW DPI Fisheries and you will need a NSW fishing licence to fish there.

According to NSW regulations, you can only fish for Murray spiny freshwater crayfish in the Murray River and its tributaries from Albury to Tocumwal. Outside this area, the Murray River is closed to Murray spiny cray fishing.

Read more on the NSW DPI Fisheries rules and regulations carefully here.

The number, size and shape of the equipment used is important. It is also important that your equipment is appropriately labelled. Click here for a summary of the fishing gear that can legally be used in Victoria, and how to use it.

Measuring your Murray spiny freshwater crayfish

Murray spiny freshwater crayfish are measured from the rear of the eye socket to the nearest part of the rear edge of the carapace (main body shell).

Measuring devices (pictured right) can be ordered for free by calling our Customer Service Centre on 136 186. Please ensure that you are using the correct measuring device to measure your crays. The correct measure will have the full species name, Murray spiny freshwater crayfish, printed.