25 September 2023

Call to spy on carps’ breeding grounds

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Canberrans have been urged to report incidents of amorous carp couples mating in the Territory’s waterways this Spring in an effort to improve management of the piscine pest.

ACT Waterwatch Facilitator, Woo O’Reilly called for everyone to be on the look-out for carp doing what comes naturally between October and December when the water temperature was around 20°C.

“Spotters often hear carp before they see them,” Ms O’Reilly said.

“Carp tend to congregate in vegetated areas in creeks and rivers and on the edges of lakes. They can be quite close to the surface, moving around a lot and splashing.”

She encouraged people to photograph or video the carp and share it on either the Waterwatch Facebook or Twitter sites.

“The more we know about where carp breed in the ACT region, the better we can ultimately manage their numbers,” Ms O’Reilly said.

“For example, if a biological control is used in the future – with research currently taking place as part of Australian Government’s National Carp Control Plan – we can target known breeding areas for release and be more effective,” she said.

“Carp make up more than 85 per cent of the biomass in our waterways and cause significant environmental problems.”

Waterwatch is partly funded by ACT Healthy Waterways, a joint initiative of the ACT and Australian Governments to improve the quality of water entering local waterways and the Murrumbidgee River system.

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