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Carp In Tasmania

Carp were first discovered in Tasmania in the North-West region in 1975 and again in 1980. These populations were eradicated using the fish poison rotenone. In early 1995, carp were discovered in the popular recreational trout waters of lakes Crescent and Sorell.

Carp were first discovered in Tasmania in the North-West region in 1975 and again in 1980. These populations were eradicated using the fish poison rotenone.

However in early 1995 carp were discovered in the popular recreational trout waters of lakes Crescent and Sorell. Immediately following this discovery, the Inland Fisheries Service implemented a Carp Management Program. The ongoing program has been developed and funded by the State Government to deal with the problem of carp in Tasmania, and has the following objectives:

  • Contain carp to their current known distribution.
  • Continue to reduce the current carp population by all methods, including; radio tracking, trapping, netting and electrofishing.
  • Protect native flora and fauna threatened by carp or carp management.
  • Gain an understanding of the factors controlling the success of the carp.
  • Review all options for carp eradication as they are developed.
  • Develop guidelines for recreational and commercial access to both lakes.
  • Communicate and educate the public regarding the threat of carp, it’s possible spread and re-introduction.

Facts about Carp

Carp - Cyprinus carpio (European or common carp) is a member of the family Cyprinidae, which contains about 1500 species worldwide. These include goldfish and tench which have also been introduced into Tasmanian waterways.

Carp have been selectively bred for many hundreds of years in Japan, producing brightly coloured and patterned fish called ‘koi’ carp. Although koi have distinct colour patterns they are still the same species and subject to the same legal restrictions as other forms of carp.

  • Carp males generally mature at 2-4 years and females at 3-5 years.
  • Carp prefer water temperatures of around 17° and 25° C for spawning.
  • A single 4 kg female carp can produce up to 1,000,000 eggs.
  • Carp typically feed by sucking up bottom sediments and filtering out invertebrates and organic material, in clear water they may also selectively feed on invertebrates.
  • Carp generally prefer to live in warm, still or slow moving water bodies with silt bottoms and good stands of aquatic vegetation.
  • Carp can survive prolonged temperatures as low as 4° C and as high as 35° C.
  • Carp can tolerate salinity as high as one-third sea water.
  • Carp can survive extremely low dissolved oxygen concentrations for several days.

Problems linked with carp

Carp have been blamed for many of the problems encountered by fishery and water resource managers. These include:

  • destruction of fragile aquatic macrophytes (water plants);
  • increase in turbidity;
  • damage to stream beds and irrigation channels;
  • nutrient enrichment of waterways leading to algal blooms;
  • competitive interactions with desirable fish species; and
  • introduction of new parasites and diseases to desirable fish species.

Facts about Lakes Sorell and Crescent

Lakes Sorell and Crescent are located in the Central Highlands of Tasmanian. These lakes are adjacent to each other and linked, both being regulated to provide water for downstream towns, stock and irrigation within the Clyde Valley since the early 1800’s. Specific natural values of note include a number of rare or threatened species including the endemic native fish the golden galaxiid (Galaxias auratus); and a number of state, national and internationally recognised (Ramsar) wetlands. The wetlands are an important refuge for several listed migratory bird species during droughts.