Jackass Morwong

Morwong jackass
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit10


possession limit20


boat limit30

Limits apply to combined morwong species other than banded, except the boat limit which applies to jackass morwong only.

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.

Stock status


Other names

silver perch, perch, silver morwong

Scientific name

Nemodactylus macropterus

Grows to

Up to

70cm and 4.5kg

Identifying features

​Jackass morwong have a silvery-grey body, almost white below with a broad dark ‘saddle’ appearing across the back directly behind the head region. The pectoral fins have a single long ray.


Jackass morwong are found on open, flat sandy regions of the continental shelf and around reef margins all around Tasmania but are more commonly caught on the east and south coasts from 10-300 metres deep.

Fishing information

During daylight hours, juvenile morwong will feed in schools on or near the bottom where they are commonly caught by fishers using nets or lines. This species can be caught on lines using fish flesh, prawns or sandworms. They provide excellent sport on light tackle.


Fragile dorsal spines and a thick anal spine capable of causing painful puncture wounds.


Large scales and a black membrane lining the gut usually need to be removed. Jackass morwong has firm, white mildly flavoured flesh and tastes best grilled fresh, skin on or as skinless fillets. Also suitable to bake, barbeque, shallow or deep fry, marinate or steam.

Recipe: Donna’s Poached Fish - Camp Oven Style:

Best in a camp oven with the fish you catch on the day, but can be done in oven or BBQ with lid.
Fresh fish such as morwong prepared in thick fillets, skin on so it holds together when serving. The quantity you use depends on size of camp oven.

Place fish skin side down in camp oven. Pour in 1 cup water. Sprinkle or rub onto flesh a mix of 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder (if camping, can pre-mix and store in snap lock bag). Place thin slices of butter and lemon on top of seasoned fish. Cover camp oven (fit lid tightly to reduce steam escaping). Place over fire - direct heat is okay. Cook approximately 20-30 minutes or until flesh flakes away.


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

Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: fishing.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au