Pots, dillies and nets

There are rules you must follow when you use pots, dillies and nets to fish in the Northern Territory (NT).

Pots are enclosed traps, while dillies are flat and have a large opening at the top.

Marine pots and dillies

You can use a maximum of five pots or dillies per person, with a maximum of 10 pots per vessel when there are two or more people on board. This is except in the Daly River Fish Management Zone - see below.

Saltwater pots or dillies may not be used in fresh water.

Floats

All pots must have a float attached that is at least 80mm in diameter or length.

The float must be visible at all times when in use and have your first and last name clearly marked on it.

Marine pots for saltwater

Pots must not:

  • be greater than 100cm in length, width, height or diameter and must not exceed 0.5 cubic metres in volume
  • have more than two openings into any enclosure, except for emptying crabs from it, or for placing bait
  • be made of material that entangles fish or aquatic life, such as witches' hat pots, which are not allowed.

Diagrams of saltwater marine pots

Mudcrab set pot Round crab pot

Dillies

When set, the sides of dillies must collapse and the net must sit flat.

Dillies must be made with a minimum 15mm mesh when stretched.

Dillies must not be greater than 100cm in length, height or diameter and must not exceed 0.5 cubic metres in volume.

Diagram of a dilly

Dilly pot

Freshwater pots and dillies

You may have a maximum of five pots or dillies for each person on your vessel.

Freshwater pots must not be greater than 70cm in length or 50cm in width or height and have a mesh size of no less than 15mm when stretched.

All entrances must have a rigid turtle excluder ring with a maximum diameter of 90mm.

You may have a maximum of 10 pots or dillies per vessel when two or more people are on board, except in the Daly River Fish Management Zone.

Daly River Fish Management Zone

You must follow all of these rules for the Daly River Fish Management Zone:

  • maximum of three freshwater pots or dillies per person possession limit
  • maximum of six freshwater pots or dillies per vessel when two or more people are on board
  • pots must not be greater than 70cm in length or 50cm in width or height and have a mesh size of no less than 15mm when stretched.

Diagram of a freshwater dilly or pot

Freshwater pot

Drag nets

A drag net is pulled through the water by hand. Anything you catch with a drag net must be cleared in water to avoid the death of released or unwanted fish.

Your drag net must meet all of these conditions:

  • maximum length is 16m without attached lines
  • maximum drop is 2m
  • maximum mesh size is 28mm and must not have pockets
  • must not be staked or fixed
  • must have a float attached with the user’s full name
  • must not be used in creeks and rivers
  • must be used seaward of the coastline.

Cast nets

A cast net is a circular net which is also called a throw net.

Your cast net must meet all of the following conditions:

  • maximum diameter is 6m
  • maximum drop is 3m when suspended from the centre
  • maximum mesh size is 25mm
  • must be attended at all times when in use
  • must be used only by casting, throwing or dropping the net.

Last updated: 28 November 2017