Fishing clubs identify pest fish as major concern

March 19, 2018

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European carp caught in Goondiwindi, March 2018. 

The impact of pest fish, in particular the European carp, is a major concern for the many thousands of people who fish rivers such as the Border Rivers, Condamine, Moonie, Maranoa and Warrego/ Paroo.

Issues were identified at forums held by the Queensland Murray-Darling Committee (QMDC) in Charleville, St George, Goondiwindi and Toowoomba in partnership with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland.

QMDC is leading the development of a ‘Native Fish Management Plan’ which aims to improve the region’s recreational native fishing and tourism experience while the FRDC is gathering input on the potential use of a bio control agent for carp in Australian waterways as part of the National Carp Control Plan.

“The region’s recreation fishing clubs were strongly represented at the forums and many fishers observed that carp and native species had been on the decline in recent years due to drought,” said QMDC CEO Geoff Penton.

Fishing enthusiasts from Dirranbandi, Surat and Thallon fishing clubs reminisced about a carp buster event in Dirranbandi after the floods of 2011 where 6,000 carp were caught in one day.

Ann Smith, an avid fisher from the Toowoomba region concurred that carp numbers were “enormous” when water was more abundant, and in recent years she had caught fewer carp and native fish.

In Goondiwindi, members of the local fish restocking club said carp and other pest fish had been observed in fewer numbers when native fish populations were healthy.

Mr Penton said heavy rain across south-west Queensland over the past week would be a welcome relief for the land and our native fish and he looked forward to drafting the plan made possible with the support of a grant from the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund.

“With the valuable insights from local fishers and more from the community, combined with feedback from Government departments and industry experts, we’re now in the process of drafting the ‘Native Fish Management Plan’.

“This plan will provide recommendations and a pathway for the community and recreational fishers to work together with Government and industry leaders to improve native fish numbers for the benefit of the environment and the recreational fishing experience in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin,” he said.

Anyone wishing to offer feedback to the plan can still do so by contacting QMDC Landcare NRM Officer Thomas Foster via mobile: 0427 056 441 or email: thomasf@qmdc.org.au

Visit www.qmdc.org.au for more information.

Media Contact: QMDC Landcare NRM Officer Thomas Foster via mobile: 0427 056 441 or email: thomasf@qmdc.org.au Released by: QMDC Regional Communications Officer Alex Halford 0427 468 861.

Toowoomba Office

127b Campbell Street (corner of Campbell and Bellevue)

PO Box 6243 Toowoomba West QLD 4350

P (07) 4637 6200 F (07) 4632 8062 E info@qmdc.org.au

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