Magpie Perch

perch magpie
© 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

magpie morwong

Scientific name

Cheilodactylus nigripes

Grows to

Up to

40cm and 2kg

Identifying features

​Magpie perch have a white to brown body with two wide black to brown stripes across the body. Young fish have a reddish tail which darkens as the fish matures. They have an extremely hard, bony head area, no teeth and rubbery lips.


Common around reefs along the southern coast and Bass Strait down to 30 metres.

Fishing information

Magpie perch are rarely caught by line and normally feed on small invertebrates that are sucked off the bottom with a mouthful of sediment. However, they will take baits such as sand worms and pipis using a very small hook. Most commonly taken in gillnets set over reef areas but normally only in small amounts.


Magpie perch have extremely sharp dorsal spines which easily break off in the skin causing a great deal of pain.


Magpie perch are tasty eating and can be frozen because of their firm white flesh. The fillets are thin so be careful not to overcook them.


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