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Carp Management Program

Since the discovery of carp in Tasmania in 1995, the Service has invested significant resources in a Carp Management Program, specifically funded by the State Government to deal with the problem of carp. This has resulted in their containment, the prevention of spread to other waters and the complete eradication from Lake Crescent. A concerted effort is now focused on their removal from Lake Sorell.

Since the discovery of carp in lakes Cresecent and Sorell in 1995, the Inland Fisheries Service has invested signifigant resources into a Carp Management Program to contain and eradicate carp from these lakes. This work has been largely funded by the Tasmanian Government with grants from the Commonwealth Government increasing funding in recent  years. To date the program has resulted in the containment of carp and the complete eradication of carp from Lake Crescent. This was a signifigant milestone in the program and provided validation for the techniques used to tackle this pest species. Changes in lake level, carp development and carp behaviour  mean that the Carp Management Program continues to trial inovative techniqes to eradicate carp. A concerted effort is now focused on their removal from Lake Sorell.


carp captured

Graph illustrating the complete eradication of carp from Lake Crescent

With the removal of older fish from Lake Sorell eradication is focused primarily on fish from a single year class or cohort. These fish are from a series of spawning events in 2009. They make up the current  carp population in Lake Sorell with the last older mature carp caught in 2011. The growth and development of the 2009 cohort has been followed closely. Gowth and devlopment has not followed the same pattern as previous cohorts, with both growth and maturation slower in the 2009 cohort. This has made targeting fish and predicting behaviour difficult. To date no mature female fish have been captured from the 2009 cohort. A small number of mature male fish have been captured but this was expected as males mature earlier than females. Fishing down this cohort, has relied on information collected from transmitter implanted fish to target aggregations and intensive traping and net fishing effort. Catches are reliant on the behaviour of carp, when fish aggregate they become easier to catch. Fishing effort will be signifigantly increased next season with the expectation that the maturing carp will be actively moving around the lake.

In November 2013, the Carp Management Program was notified that it had been successful in its application for funding from the Commonwealth Government Caring for Our Country Targeted Area Grants. The funding amounts to $820,000 over 2 years, and allows the Inland Fisheries Service to maintain the resources on the Carp Management Program.

Carp Management Program

The current estimated population of carp remaining in Lake Sorell since the spawning event in December 2009

The additional funding matches the State Government’s contribution and should greatly assist the effort to eradicate the pest within two years. The State Government has invested a total of $8.53 million dollars in the eradication program since 1995 with federal government support now exceeding $1.3 million, and through the use of innovative techniques the Inland Fisheries Service has removed more than 47,000 carp from the two lakes and has successfully eradicated the destructive pest from Lake Crescent.

Further Information

Contact the Carp Management Program, Inland Fisheries Service

A number of publications on the carp program have been produced, including annual reports, and regular updates are provided. These publications are available below:

Carp Management Publications

 Title   Date   Size 
File Carp Management update July to September 2012 Oct 08, 2012 1.2 MB
File Carp Management Program Annual Report 2011-2012 Sep 26, 2012 1.1 MB
File Carp Management update January to March 2012 Jun 13, 2012 916.1 kB
File Age, growth and maturity of the common carp (Cyprinus carpio) in lake Crescent and Sorell Jun 13, 2012 682.4 kB
File Gear selectivity technical report Jun 13, 2012 632.1 kB
File Carp Management Program Annual Report 2010-2011 Nov 01, 2011 1.5 MB
File A technique for deployment of odour donor fish for control of the common carp Cyprionus carpio Sep 01, 2011 886.0 kB
File The Use of Biotelemetry in Controlling the Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) in Lakes Crescent and Sorell Sep 01, 2011 782.0 kB
File Validation of mark-recapture population estimates for invasive common carp, Cyprinus carpio, in Lake Crescent, Tasmania Jul 01, 2011 434.9 kB
File Carp Management Program Annual Report 2009-2010 Jul 01, 2010 2.5 MB