Fishing in Shark Bay and Tamala

Fishing in Shark Bay and Tamala

A large part of Shark Bay is protected as marine park yet there are relatively few areas where recreational line fishing is not permitted.

Before staying at Tamala Station, it is advisable to check with the Fisheries department about the specific rules for fishing.

The Station staff have some up to date information pamphlets.

Common fish species in Shark Bay

Given the wide variety of marine habitats in the bay you can catch most of Western Australia’s sought after species, often in good number and size.

Boat based fishing can provide catches of large pink snapper – special rules apply for Tamala Station – groper, cod, mackerel and coral trout. Bluebone groper can be caught along with nor’ west snapper around rocky areas further into the bay.

Pink snapper has long been an icon species for the area. In recent years, the popularity of Shark Bay as a fishing destination has meant that snapper populations in the inner gulfs have come under increasing pressure and require careful management in order to ensure their future At Steep Point narrow barred Spanish mackerel are often the target species but sailfish, tuna, cobia and yellow tailed kingfish are also commonly caught, making this site one of the most exciting shore-based fishing destinations in Australia Beach based fishing will land you whiting, tailor and flathead.

Rules and Regulations for fishing

Shark Bay, more than 800 kilometres north of Perth, is renowned for its recreational fishing, especially for pink snapper.

Pink snapper in Shark Bay’s three inner gulfs don’t interbreed with each other or the wider-ranging oceanic population. The inner gulf pink snapper stocks are small compared with the oceanic stock and stocks elsewhere in Australia and in New Zealand. Being small and reproductively isolated makes these inner gulf stocks particularly vulnerable to overfishing.

For this reason, special fishing rules apply.

The following rules apply when fishing for pink snapper in the inner gulfs of Shark Bay.

Daily bag limit

2 per fisher, per day

Size limit

Minimum size 500 mm. The 700 mm maximum size limit has been removed from January 2016.

The bag and size limits above also apply when the pink snapper have been caught in oceanic waters and landed anywhere in the inner gulfs of Shark Bay.

Pink snapper tag lottery

Due to management changes the Freycinet Estuary tag lottery has been replaced with new recreational fishing rules in 2016.

Landing filleted or processed fish

There is no longer a requirement to land pink snapper in whole form in the inner gulfs, but Statewide filleting rules apply (see below for details).

Fish with a minimum size limit can be carried at sea and landed:
as fillets, skin and scale on, a minimum 30 cm length;
trunked, skin and scale on a minimum 30 cm length; or
whole (can be gutted and gilled)

Fish without a size limit can be carried at sea and landed:
filleted, skin on;
trunked, skin on; or
whole (can be gutted and gilled)

These rules also apply if you are returning from an island.

For more information, please visit:

Freycinet Estuary Management Zone

The tag lottery has been removed for pink snapper in Freycinet Estuary and replaced with the Freycinet Estuary Management Zone.

In the Management Zone, any person will only be able to have in their possession a maximum of 5 kg of fillets of fish or one day’s bag limit of whole fish or fish trunks. This applies to all fish, not just pink snapper.

Tamala station will remain closed for camping until further notice.

Tamala’s request for a new camping licence has been declined.

We have been advised that we need another Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) that specifically includes the camping area before any application will be considered. Acquiring an ILUA involves extensive consultation and a protracted legal process. This means we will have to remain closed to the public for the duration of the process that may well take two years to resolve.

We are committed to engaging with the relevant government department to meet the necessary requirements and regain a camping licence if possible.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Jon Warren

Manager, Tamala station

July 2023