Give Cod a Rest During Closed Season

Between 1 September and 30 November (inclusive) each year cod fishing is closed, coinciding when the species switches into breeding mode. It’s at this time they are at their most vulnerable.

Murray cod are protected during this time in all Victorian waters, except for Lake Eildon which is open year-round. Research found that 99.6 per cent of Murray cod in Lake Eildon were stocked fish.

During the closed season, cod guard their nests which makes them territorial, aggressive and easy to catch. All anglers can play an important role to help cod successfully spawn, recruit naturally and provide great cod fishing for the future.

Anglers should avoid using fishing techniques that are likely to catch cod during this time, such as:

  • Do not deliberately target cod.
  • Use lures smaller than 80mm for species such as yellow belly.
  • Avoid using surface lures.
  • Use small yabbies only for species such as yellow belly.
  • Avoid using baits such as cheese, chicken, red meat and bardi grubs.
  • Use your experience, or get local advice, and target other species
  • away from known cod ‘hotspots’.

If you do accidentally catch a cod during the closed season, keep it in the water and release it immediately.

Report any illegal activities by calling 13 Fish (13 3474).

Download our Closed Season Cod poster

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