Fishing advice

Recreational fishing in inland waters is managed through the Victorian Fisheries Authority. Read an overview of fishing responsibly, and where to find more information on requirements and fishing locations.

Remember to exercise caution when eating freshly-caught fish from urban rivers. For more information, visit the Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel.

Licence requirements

If you’re planning to fish in any of Victoria’s marine, estuarine and inland waters, in most cases you’ll need a Recreational Fishing Licence. Before you go, check the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s licence requirements and other key regulatory information.

Responsible fishing

Melbourne Water cares for waterways to ensure healthy habitats and fish. Some native fish species in our waterways, such as the Macquarie Perch, are listed as nationally endangered or vulnerable. To protect them, we encourage you to fish responsibly at all times – find out more by viewing the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s Recreational Fishing Guide.

Litter disposal

Every year, thousands of native animals are killed or injured by fishing litter, such as hooks, weights and lines.

Fishing line bin along bike path in inner Melbourne
A fishing line bin along a waterway in inner Melbourne.

For example:

  • hooks can become embedded in – or even pierce – the skin
  • hooks, line and weights can be swallowed, causing internal blockages, injury and poisoning
  • line can wrap around an animal, cutting off blood supply
  • wildlife entangled in line may suffer a slow death due to starvation.

To avoid harming wildlife, you can:

  • take unwanted fishing line home and cut it into small pieces before putting it in the bin, or if available use a fishing line bin
  • be aware of surrounding trees, as line caught in foliage can entangle wildlife
  • don’t leave baited tackle unattended – remove bait from the hook and put the tackle in a safe place
  • use a bait box.

Locations and facilities

Looking for the perfect place to cast your line? Whether inland or on the coast, find a fishing spot near you by consulting the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s fishing locations list.

For information about facilities by a river or creek, contact the relevant local council or Parks Victoria (13 19 63).

Last updated:
24 August 2021