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A recreational fishing licence is required to fish in NSW waters, both freshwater and saltwater.

You'll need to be able to show your licence fee receipt when an authorised officer requests it, If you're engaged in any of the following activities:

  • spearfishing
  • hand lining or hand gathering
  • trapping
  • bait collecting
  • prawn netting
  • you're on or near NSW waters and have fishing gear with you.

If you're eligible for a fishing licence exemption, you'll need to carry the necessary proof when you're fishing, in case you're called upon to show it.


You're exempt from paying the NSW recreational fishing fee if you're:

  • aged under 18
  • an adult assisting a person aged under 18 to take:
    • a fish with a single rod, or
    • prawns with a single dip or scoop net
  • fishing in a private dam less than 2 hectares in surface area
  • an Aboriginal person
  • the holder of one of the following:
    • current pensioner concession card issued by Services Australia or Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA)
    • current DVA Veteran Gold Card marked 'TPI' or 'EDA'
    • letter or statement from the DVA stating you receive a Disability Compensation Payment at 70% or higher, or are eligible for a Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP).

For further information, visit Recreational fishing fee exemptions.

What you need

  • your personal details
  • your mailing address
  • the date you want your licence to start
  • how long you need a licence for
  • your payment.

How to apply

  1. Select the 'Apply online' button.
  2. Complete the online application form.

Note: Once you have your recreational fishing licence, you can add it to your MyServiceNSW Account and Service NSW mobile app if you wish.

Last updated: 30 May 2023
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