Common Gurnard Perch

Gurnard common
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit15


possession limit30


boat limit-

(common gurnard and ocean perch combined)

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size


Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.

Other names

gurnard, gurnet, ruddy gurnard

Scientific name

Neosebastes scorpaenoides

Grows to

Up to

45cm and 1.5kg

Identifying features

​The common gurnard perch is characterised by an orange grey body with a whiter belly, three irregular broad saddle-like bands and small head spines. The fin colouration mimics the body colour. Gurnards have rough scales and hard sharp bony plates around the gill covers. Their eyes are large and they have very sharp, poisonous spines.


The common gurnard perch lives over sand and hard bottom from 2-100 metres depth.

Fishing information

Commonly caught while fishing for flathead over sand but may also be encountered over rocky reef. This species is abundant in Tasmania.


Be careful of poisonous spines which can inflict a painful sting. Poison glands are found at the base of the dorsal, anal and ventral fin spines. If you are spiked, wash the affected area with warm water to help de-nature the toxins. Seek medical advice if symptoms persist.


Gurnard flesh is white, firm and good eating when filleted and skinned. It has a medium flavour with low oil content. Suitable to bake, barbecue, shallow or deep fry, foil bake, grill, poach or steam. When preparing gurnard carefully cut off all the spines using kitchen scissors.

Recipe: Oven Baked Gurnard:

1 whole gurnard, gilled, scaled and gutted, head may be removed; 1 small onion, sliced; 1 clove of garlic, diced; 1 lemon, one half quartered, the other sliced; 2 small tomatoes, quartered; bay leaf (optional); pepper; 1 tbsp of butter ; 1 tbsp of olive oil or butter for cooking.

Place all ingredients except the slices of lemon slices, butter and pepper in the gut cavity. Slightly score the fish along the back and spread butter with lemon slices along the back of the fish. Wrap in foil or place in baking dish in an oven at 180 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.

This is a great way of utilising a fish that tends not to be favoured by many Tasmanian recreational fishers. Baking these fish makes it very easy to peel off the cooked fillet with a flat spatula and they are very tasty.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

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Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647


Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550


Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550