Beating the carp out of our suffering rivers

Dr Tom Rayner holds an adult carp caught during a fish survey in the Macquarie Marshes, NSW. Picture: Roger Scott

Dr Tom Rayner holds an adult carp caught during a fish survey in the Macquarie Marshes, NSW. Picture: Roger Scott

EUROPEAN carp (cyprinus carpio) have long been the bane of communities along the length of the Murray River.

Numbers have exploded since the mid-1970s, when flooding at Mildura resulted in the release of an enhanced strain of carp that subsequently spread throughout the Murray-Darling Basin.

Carp have caused untold damage to Australia’s freshwater environment, siphoning sediment from riverbeds and muddying waters.

Removing vast amounts of carp from the Murray-Darling Basin system seemed like a perfect solution, but National Carp Control Plan (NCCP) co-ordinator Matt Barwick was tasked with bringing together a project team to investigate the pros and cons of such a radical plan.

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