Skip to content
Environment, General News

NSW fishers encouraged to round up yabby traps to help restore fish habitat

OzFish Unlimited 3 mins read
The Opera House style yabby trap.

Recreational fishers throughout NSW will have the chance to swap their old and unwanted opera house yabby traps for an Oar-Gee Plow lure, at upcoming events across the state to support sustainable fishing practices.

An initiative by TierraMar, through its Ghostnets Australia program, in collaboration with OzFish Unlimited and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), is helping the recreational fishing community participate in protecting the future of fishing and the health of the state’s waterways.

“Fishers are part of the fabric of our community and for many it’s more than just catching a feed - it’s a way of life,” explained Anissa Lawrence, Managing Director, TierraMar.

“This is why we’re encouraging them and their families to show up for the waterways they love.

“This is a very exciting program, and the first of its kind in Australia, as the opera house traps collected at these events will be recycled into useful products for fishers, with the proceeds being used to support habitat restoration.

“By bringing in your old traps, you’re not just adopting more sustainable fishing practices, you’re investing in the future of fishing, and the ongoing health of our waterways. And as a thank you, we’ll give you a new Oar-Gee lure.”

The popularity of yabby fishing has put pressure on native wildlife which can unwittingly get caught inside opera house traps. These traps are now illegal in NSW. Open-top pyramid and hoop nets, are a more environmentally friendly design, allowing non-target species to escape if they swim in while being effective at catching a feed of tasty yabbies.

“Yabby fishing really gets going in the summer so now is the perfect time to update your gear and rather than have it go to landfill, give it another life,” said Cassie Price, Director of Habitat Programs at OzFish.

“We know there are loads of rec fishers who have old opera house traps stored in their garage or shed. Rather than simply throw them out, we’re encouraging anyone with old traps to come and drop them in for recycling and get a free Aussie-made lure.

“The modern open-top nets are fun to use, especially for the kids, as they encourage active yabby fishing rather than set and forget. And they’re friendly to other animals too.

“By using pyramid or hoop nets you’re swapping out your outdated gear, and in the process keeping your local waterway healthy and thriving, now and for the next generation."

Sean Sloan, Deputy Director General Fisheries, NSW DPI, said the state has taken the lead by promoting responsible yabby fishing.

“This yabby trap swap initiative is a fantastic example of NSW DPI working with recreational fishers and community organisations to encourage sustainable fishing with the added benefit being great outcomes for our unique native fauna,” he said.

Fishers are encouraged to utilise drop-off events at:

  • Wauchope (4-6 Aug) Mid North Coast Caravan, Camping, 4WD, Fish & Boat Show
  • Gunnedah (22-24 Aug) AgQuip Field Day
  • Dubbo (15-17 Sep) Orana Caravan, Camping, 4WD, Fish and Boat Show
  • Wagga Wagga (Feb 2024) Lifestyle and Leisure Expo
  • Orange (Mar 2024) Central West Caravan & Camping Outdoor Expo.

The Yabby Trap Round-Up program is an initiative of TierraMar in collaboration with the NSW DPI, OzFish Unlimited and BCF - Boating, Camping, Fishing.


If you would like to know more about the project or get involved become a member of OzFish online at or contact 1800 431 308.

About us:

About OzFish


OzFish Unlimited is a national environmental conservation charity established to improve the health of our rivers, lakes and estuaries. It is a member-based organisation dedicated to make our fishing grounds healthy, vibrant and more productive. Their active work includes; habitat restoration such as resnagging, riverbank planting, clean-ups, fishways, shellfish reefs and educational and community capacity building programs.

Contact details:

Media Contacts

If you would like further information about the project, please contact OzFish Unlimited communications manager Paul Suttor

0421 491 229 |


Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.