How many carp are in our rivers?

Electrofishing carp. Image: Arthur Rylah Institute

COMMON carp (Cyprinus carpio) have invaded most waterways of eastern Australia and are now the most abundant large freshwater fish in south east Australia. Carp cause substantial social, environmental and economic impacts and even at low abundances can negatively impact water quality, aquatic plants and native fish. As part of the National Carp Control Plan (NCCP) there was an assessment of the feasibility of using “Cyprinid herpesvirus 3”, a naturally occurring strain of carp herpesvirus, as a biological control agent for this pest.

Many NCCP projects were completed, covering the main issues around potential use of carp biocontrol, ranging from virus epidemiology, to clean-up strategies and social dynamics.

The Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI) contributed to the research that underpinned the NCCP by leading a five-state collaborative project with La Trobe University to develop an international best-practice to determine how many carp are in eastern Australia. The study was undertaken across a range of habitat types including rivers, lakes, billabongs, and estuaries, and allowed for fluctuating carp numbers through time.

Using cutting edge modelling, ARI estimated across Australia:

  • 199.2 million carp in an ‘average’ year
  • 357.5 million carp in a ‘wet’ year
  • 96% of carp biomass on the east coast where they occupy over 54% of wetlands and 97% of large rivers

ARI says, this information will help managers prioritise national and local carp control strategies, set appropriate objectives and track river recovery.

For more information:

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.