From 4 December 2015 through to 4 June 2017, DPI conducted an 18-month trial of legal bowfishing in NSW inland waterways.
Under current legislation, bowfishing (as well as spearfishing) is not permitted in NSW inland waters. During the trial, bowfishers were able to apply for a special permit (under Section 37 of the Fisheries Management Act 1994) allowing them to bowfish and were subject to special conditions to manage the activity.
The trial is now closed. DPI has commenced a review through an external consultant to determine whether bowfishing in inland waters should be made a legal, recreational activity in NSW.
Bowfishing is a crossover between fishing and hunting. Bowfishers use specialised archery equipment (fishing arrows and reels attached to traditional recurve and compound bows) to shoot and retrieve fish.
Carp are an introduced freshwater species that are a noxious fish in NSW.
They have a significant impact on freshwater ecosystems as they damage vegetation, compete with native fish and degrade water quality.
Areas that are under consideration in the trial review include: