Photographing fish to be released

Sharing photographs of your catch with family and friends is part of a great day on the water. Promoting fishing and people's enjoyment of the pastime is a key part of the State Government's Target One Million commitment to get one million Victorians fishing.

Although Fisheries regulations stipulate that fish to be returned to the water must be released immediately, a quick photograph is permitted.

This includes taking a photograph of a fish that is:

  • Undersize. i.e. shorter than the minimum legal length
  • Oversize. i.e. longer than the maximum legal length
  • Caught during a closed season. i.e. Murray cod in Sept, Oct or Nov
  • Exceeds the bag limit.. i.e. takes the angler one fish over their daily bag limit temporarily
  • A protected species. i.e. grayling, blue groper, Macquarie perch and trout cod in some waters.

Anglers should do everything they reasonably can to take photographs quickly and in a manner that minimises injury and damage to the fish prior to release.

Fish held temporarily for photography must not be placed in live wells, bins or other receptacles. They should be photographed then immediately returned to the water unharmed.

Anglers should:

  • Keep the fish in the water whenever possible
  • Handle the fish carefully
  • Avoid dropping the fish or leaving it on hot surfaces
  • Use wet hands or a wet cloth to handle the fish
  • Respectfully release the fish rather than throwing or dropping it carelessly
  • Cause no unnecessary harm or trauma to the fish.

For more responsible fish handling practices, please see our page on handling Murray cod. These are tips that can be used with a variety of fresh and saltwater fish.

This year, The Victorian Fisheries Authority will be working with Aquatic Vets and anglers to improve our knowledge of fish handling stress and further develop guidelines for handling large fish such as Murray cod.