Victoria Fishing License: All You Need to Know Before You Cast

Fishing is a beloved pastime in Victoria, Australia, offering anglers the opportunity to explore the state’s diverse waterways and reel in a variety of fish species. However, before you can cast your line, it’s crucial to understand the licensing requirements and regulations in place. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about obtaining a Victoria fishing license and ensuring a legal and enjoyable fishing experience.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Victoria?

In Victoria, anyone aged between 18 and 70 years old is required to hold a valid fishing license to engage in recreational fishing activities. This includes line fishing, bait or shellfish collection, yabby fishing, prawning, and spearfishing. Additionally, you’ll need a license if you plan to carry fishing equipment in, on, or next to public Victorian waters.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. The following groups are exempt from needing a fishing license in Victoria:

  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Adults over 70 years of age
  • Indigenous Australians (Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders)
  • Holders of a Victorian Seniors Card or an interstate equivalent
  • Veterans’ Affairs Pensioner cardholders
  • Veterans’ Affairs Repatriation Health cardholders (coded TPI)
  • Commonwealth Pensioner Concession cardholders (coded DSP, DSP Blind, AGE, AGE Blind, or CAR)

It’s important to note that these exemptions apply only to recreational fishing activities. If you plan to engage in commercial fishing, separate licensing requirements may apply.

Types of Fishing Licenses Available

The Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) offers four different types of recreational fishing licenses to cater to various needs:

  1. 3-day license: Perfect for a short fishing getaway, this license allows you to fish for three consecutive days.
  2. 28-day license: Ideal for those planning an extended fishing trip or for frequent anglers who don’t want the commitment of an annual license.
  3. 1-year license: This annual license provides the convenience of fishing throughout the year without worrying about renewals.
  4. 3-year license: For dedicated anglers, this multi-year license offers the best value and eliminates the need for annual renewals for three years.

License Costs and Purchasing Options

The cost of your fishing license varies depending on the duration and the purchasing method. Here’s a breakdown of the current prices:

License Type Cost (In-Person) Cost (Online)
3-Day License $10.00 $10.00
28-Day License $21.85 $21.85
1-Year License $39.90 $37.50
3-Year License $108.10 $102.40

As you can see, purchasing a 1-year or 3-year license online through the Service Victoria website offers a discounted rate, making it the most cost-effective option for longer-term licenses.

Alternatively, you can purchase your license in person from any authorized agent, such as tackle shops, outdoor retailers, or select convenience stores. However, keep in mind that these outlets may charge the full price listed above.

How to Buy a Victoria Fishing License Online

Buying your fishing license online through Service Victoria is the easiest and most convenient option. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Visit the Service Victoria website and select the type of license you want to purchase.
  2. Provide the required personal information, such as your name, date of birth, and contact details.
  3. Choose your preferred payment method (credit card or PayPal) and complete the transaction.
  4. Upon successful payment, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing your digital license or instructions on how to access it through the Service Victoria app.

Tip: If you plan to purchase a 1-year or 3-year license, you’ll have the option to choose between a digital license or a physical plastic card. The plastic card will be mailed to you, so allow up to four weeks for delivery.

Buying a Physical Plastic Fishing License

While digital licenses are convenient, some anglers prefer the tangibility of a physical plastic card. If you opt for this option when purchasing a 1-year or 3-year license, the VFA will mail the plastic card to your registered address.

It’s important to note that the physical card is only available for the 1-year and 3-year license options. If you purchase a 3-day or 28-day license, you’ll receive a digital license or an email confirmation as proof of purchase.

One advantage of the physical card is that it serves as a durable and long-lasting proof of your license, which can be especially useful for avid anglers who spend a lot of time on the water.

Additional Fishing Regulations and Resources

Obtaining a fishing license is just the first step in ensuring a legal and responsible fishing experience in Victoria. It’s equally important to familiarize yourself with the state’s fishing regulations and guidelines.

The Recreational Fishing Guide published by the VFA is an invaluable resource that provides detailed information on bag limits, permitted fishing gear, closed areas, and other essential regulations. This guide is available on the VFA website, as well as through the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Additionally, the VFA offers free resources, such as fish rulers and measures, to assist anglers in complying with size limits and other regulations. These resources can be obtained from various outlets or by contacting the VFA directly.

For non-English speakers, the VFA provides language options to ensure that everyone can access and understand the fishing regulations and guidelines.

Interstate Fishing and Reciprocal Arrangements

If you plan to fish in other states or territories within Australia, it’s important to note that your Victorian fishing license may not be valid. Each state and territory has its own licensing requirements, and you’ll need to check the specific regulations before embarking on an interstate fishing trip.

However, there is a reciprocal arrangement in place for Lake Hume, which straddles the border between Victoria and New South Wales. Anglers with a valid Victorian fishing license can fish in the Victorian waters of Lake Hume without needing an additional New South Wales license.

It’s always a good idea to research the licensing requirements for your intended fishing destination, as failure to comply with local regulations can result in penalties or fines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I update my license details if my personal information changes? A: Yes, you can update your license details, such as your address or name, by contacting the VFA or using the online portal.

Q: What should I do if I lose or damage my physical fishing license? A: If you lose or accidentally damage your physical license, you can request a replacement from the VFA. However, plastic cards are not reissued, so you’ll receive an email with your license details instead.

Q: Can I pre-date my fishing license to start on a future date? A: Yes, you can pre-date your license up to three months in advance to ensure you have a valid license for an upcoming fishing trip.

Victorian Fisheries Authority Contact Information

If you have any further questions or need assistance regarding fishing licenses or regulations, you can contact the Victorian Fisheries Authority through the following channels:

  • Phone: (03) 8392 6867
  • Email: rec.licensing@vfa.vic.gov.au
  • Website: vfa.vic.gov.au
  • Mobile app: Available on the Apple App Store and Google Play

The VFA website and mobile app also provide valuable resources, including interactive maps, fishing reports, and educational materials to enhance your fishing experience in Victoria.

By understanding the licensing requirements, regulations, and resources available, you can embark on your fishing adventures in Victoria with confidence and ensure a responsible and enjoyable time on the water. Remember, fishing is not just a pastime but also a way to connect with nature and create lasting memories. So, grab your rod, secure your license, and get ready to cast your line in Victoria’s beautiful waterways.

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