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Feral Carp Trapping
10 Apr 2012

Since it's introduction to Australia in the mid 1800's and it's colonisation of the Murray-Darling basin in the 60's and 70's, Carp has been responsible for a myriad of potentially damaging ecological changes.  Perhaps most damaging to the native species is the sheer volume for which Carp account for; it's not uncommon for Carp to comprise up to 70-90% of the fish biomass of lowland rivers and lakes.  This creates a vast amount of competition for space in our waterways, which Carp seem to be winning.  In addition, Carp are known to carry anchorworm, which infects both native and alien fish species.  Their feeding habits consist of filtering mud through their gills, which has led to increased riverbank undermining and erosion as well as increased sedimentation of the waterways they occupy.  There are four species of Carp known to inhabit Australia: Euopean (Common), Goldfish, Mirror and Koi Carp. 

South West NRM has been trialling large Carp traps in various locations across Murweh Shire near Charleville in South West Queensland.  After attaining permits and permissions, the traps (designed by DEEDI) were assembled at strategic locations and then continuously baited.  The traps spent between 48 hours and 5 days in the water and checks were made daily to release any non-target species.

The traps were retrieved and checked as a group effort with SWNRM staff members, the Charleville fishing & restocking president, local property owners and other community members.  Overall, more than 800 carp (estimated 600kg in total) were removed from the region with the help of local communities - a fantastic result and one that will hopefully be repeated in upcoming trapping campaigns. 

All trapping is carred out under strict permit conditions and is carefully monitored.  Netting without permits is illegal.

Community Environment Rural/Regional
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