'The Outback Carp Muster' to reduce carp - the river pest

Reducing populations of the introduced pest - carp - in the Barwon and Darling River systems is an aim of the ‘The Outback Carp Muster’ - a fishing competition to be held this month in the Brewarrina and Bourke regions.

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI), the Western Catchment Management Authority and local fishing clubs are inviting fishing enthusiasts and the general community to participate in the ‘Muster’, that will be held on November 17 in Brewarrina and then in Bourke and the surrounding communities on the weekend of November 24 and 25.

DPI Conservation Manager David Cordina said there was thousands of dollars worth of prizes for winners of the ‘Muster’ in categories including: biggest carp caught, the most number of carp caught and lucky door prizes in both senior and junior prize categories.

"Carp are a major pest in the Barwon and Darling Rivers and this muster will focus attention on the need for better controls" Mr Cordina said.

"They are now widespread in the area and make up more than 90 percent of all fish in Murray-Darling Basin rivers. They are considered a major threat to the future of the Basin’s native fish stocks including Murray cod, golden perch, freshwater catfish and threatened species such as silver perch and the western populations of the olive perchlet and purple-spotted gudgeon," he said.

"Carp musters are just one of the community engagement measures used in the Barwon-Darling River as part of the Brewarrina to Bourke demonstration reach project funded by the Western Catchment Management Authority.

"This will be a fun event with great prizes that is open to all people - expert anglers and beginners alike.

"All people participating are reminded that they can only use legal fishing methods to catch the carp and anyone lucky enough to catch a Murray cod caught must immediately return it to the water as the season doesn’t start until December 1."

Brewarrina registrations will be at The Royal Hotel, Dowles Service Station and Brewarrina Newsagency while Bourke registrations will be at Franks BP, the Oxford Hotel and The Northy.

For more information about the Brewarrina leg of the competition, call: 0427 392 210 and the Bourke leg on: 0427 893 4000.