Carp numbers choking Murray Darling

CARP numbers in the Murray-Darling River system have reportedly exploded in the wake of last summer’s floods.

According to NSW Department of Primary Industry estimates, European carp numbers have increased by over 4000 per cent since the recent floods, with the associated high river levels providing ideal spawning conditions for the feral species.

Andreas Glanznig, CEO of the Invasive Animals Co-operative Research Centre, told the Daily Telegraph, “The carp problem looks set to worsen dramatically throughout the Murray-Darling River Basin as these young fish spread out and grow.

“There is no doubt that if we get another series of moderate to large floods this coming summer or autumn then the problem will escalate even further,” he said.

With higher than normal rains expected later this year carp numbers are set to further explode.

Native fish on the other hand are expected to find the ongoing competition to survive against the resilient carp tougher than ever. Anglers on the Murray-Darling system have been reporting large numbers of carp, while natives such as Murray cod and yellowbelly are proving much harder to find.

The Invasive Animals Co-operative Research Centre believes a type of fish herpes, which only affects carp and has devastated carp populations overseas, may be the solution. The CSIRO is currently examining the potential of koi herpes virus.

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