Red Gurnard

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

bag limit5


possession limit10


boat limit-

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

bluefin gurnard, flying gurnard

Scientific name

Chelidonichthys kumu

Grows to

Up to

60cm and 1.5kg

Identifying features

The red gurnard has a bony head and a blunt snout that lacks spines. A row of enlarged scales is present along the bases of both dorsal fins. It is red-brown to grey-brown above and pale below, becoming red when stressed. The body has scattered red-brown blotches. The pectoral fins are large and greenish-grey with pale blue margin is pale blue. There is a large black blotch surrounded by numerous pale spots near the base.


Found in large, sandy bays and estuaries on soft bottoms out to the inner continental shelf to depths of 200 metres.

Fishing information

This colourful fish is only occasionally taken by inshore anglers on rod and line.


Should be handled carefully as fin spines contain venom glands.


An excellent eating fish increasing in popularity. Gurnard have firm flesh that holds together well when cooking. They can be grilled or fried, but have a very low oil content and the flesh can dry out. To combat this, cook gurnard fillets on a lower heat or using a wet method such braising or curries. Gurnard can be added to a soup or stew. Their bones make good stock. Be careful when preparing gurnard to cut all the spines off carefully using scissors or pliers.

Recipe: Gurnard and Bacon Bake:

8 small or 4 large gurnard fillets; 750g sliced potato (½ cm thick and parboiled for 3 minutes); 2 tbsp butter; 4 rashers bacon, rind removed; 2 tbsp parsley, chopped; 250g tomatoes sliced; salt and black pepper.

Line bottom of well greased ovenproof dish with layers of potato. Dot with butter and bake in a moderate oven (180°C) for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and arrange tomato slices over potato, sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley. Place fillets on top, with a bacon rasher on top of each fillet. Replace in the oven and bake a further 20-25 minutes until fish is cooked. Serve hot with vegetables.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

What to report? arrow button

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