"Marron are freshwater crustacean unique to the lower southwest of Western Australia."
Wild stock is available to recreational fishermen only and they are predominantly found between Waroona and Pemberton in rivers and dams.
Open season runs for a new fixed period of 4 weeks per year between 12pm on 8 January and 12pm on 5 February. This short season is to protect the rapidly declining population and permit breeding and growth. All fishermen are required to hold a current license, which can be obtained from the Dept of Fisheries or Australia Post outlets. Licences cost approximately $30 per fisherman.
Size, Bag and Possession Limits
Size, bag and possession limits strictly apply. The minimum legal size is 80mm along the carapace (outer shell excluding tail). Measurements must be taken from the protruding horn on its head to the back of the carapace. Approved measuring gauges are generally available at fishing and camping stores.
Daily bag limits are 10 per licensed fisherman and this applies from midday to midday.
Possession limit is 20 per licensed fishermen at any given location except for your permanent residence. So if you are camping for a few days and accumulate 20 over 2 days, you are not permitted to continue until you have taken your quota home.
Size, bag and possession limits differ in “trophy waters” which are dams managed to allow growth to “trophy” size. The minimum legal size is 90mm and daily bag and possession limits are 5 per licensed fisherman. Trophy waters include Waroona Dam and Harvey Dam.
Acceptable fishing methods include self-tightening pole snares, wire basket scoop nets with a maximum diameter of 375mm and 6 vertical wires, and drop nets with a maximum diameter of 650mm and marron meshing greater than 32mm x 80mm. Only 1 pole snare, 1 scoop net or 6 drop nets are allowed per fisherman at any one time. Note some waters allow the snare method only, no marron nets allowed.
Snare-only waters include Big Brook Dam, Drakes Brook Dam, Glen Mervyn Dam, Harvey Dam, Harvey River, Logue Brook Dam, Margaret River and Wellington Dam.
Waters permitting all approved methods include the Collie, Murray, Deep, Gardiner, Capel, Preston, Warren, Donnelly, Blackwood, Moore and Hutt Rivers. During marroning season you are only permitted to have legal fishing equipment within 50m of the waterline.
Marroning in the southwest is indeed a priveledge and should not be taken for granted. The increasingly declining stocks will only lead to stricter rules and regulations in years to come and potential banning for longer periods if numbers cannot be sustained. Help protect the wild stocks by only fishing during open season and returning anything undersized and females carrying eggs immediately.