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.
You can use a maximum of:
- five pots or dillies per person, or
- 10 pots per vessel when there are two or more people on board.
Saltwater pots or dillies may not be used in fresh water.
All pots must have a complying marker float (buoy) attached that is at least 100mm in diameter or length.
You can't use non-compliant floats such as:
- juice and milk bottles
- pool noodles
- plastic drums.
The float must be attached to the marine pot with line that is at least 6mm in diameter.
The float must be visible at all times when in use and have your first and last name and telephone number 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 four 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
- have a stretched mesh size less than 50mm if made from polyethylene.
Diagrams of saltwater marine pots
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.
Dillies must not contain material that is capable of entangling fish or aquatic life.
Diagram of a dilly
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 not have a mesh size of less than 15mm when stretched.
Diagram of a freshwater dilly or pot
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.
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: 11 May 2020
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