What options are available to control carp?

There had been some heated discussions on ways to control carp. So, here’s a link shared by a colleague on the acceptable, and unacceptable ways for carp control.


Anyone interested in reducing numbers of carp in an area, whether private waters or part of a natural river system, needs to consider a range of issues before proceeding.

What options are available to control carp?

Carp is a significant pest species and understandably, many people have a strong desire to eliminate them or at least reduce their numbers.

Unfortunately, the options available for the public to effectively control carp are limited and any one option on its own is unlikely to be effective.
The only generally available legal methods for carp control (subject to those involved having the appropriate permits or approvals) are:

Legal recreational fishing methods, including as part of public fishing events

Harvesting by a licensed commercial Inland Restricted Fishery (IRF) carp endorsed fisher

Installation of carp separation cages on fishways or wetland regulators
Wetland management including exclusion screens

Draining and drying of private waterbodies

Stocking of native fish
Which option(s) is suitable for a particular situation depends on a range of factors, such as the type of waterway where the carp are found, whether it is privately owned or publicly managed, and the resources available for control work.

What about other methods like traps and poisons?

The following methods are not legal and Industry & Investment NSW will not support or issue permits for their use:

Use of fishing equipment in non-compliance with the fisheries regulations. The normal fishing rules apply to all forms of fishing, even fishing to control pest fish. Use of fishing gear in illegal ways is not acceptable and may lead to prosecution.

Rotenone – Industry & Investment NSW holds a permit from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to use rotenone for pest fish control in some circumstances under very strict conditions, but its use must be supervised by trained officers from the Department. Use of rotenone in other circumstances is illegal.

Other chemicals, electrical devices or explosives – it is illegal to use any other substance (eg. lime or copper sulphate) as a fish poison. Other methods such as electrofishing cannot be used without a specific permit from Industry & Investment NSW.

How do we dispose of the carp we catch?

You need to plan how to humanely euthanase any carp you capture – particularly if there are likely to be large numbers involved (eg. draining a dam or a community fishing event).
Information on humane and acceptable methods of euthanasing fish can be found on the Department’s animal welfare page.

Industry & Investment NSW promotes ethical and conservation-based fishing, and one of its key messages is that fishers should only catch what they need and use what they catch.

. Even though carp are a pest, it is still unethical to waste them or treat them inhumanely.

Before commencing any carp control attempt, make sure you have a plan in place to use the captured carp.
If you expect to catch large numbers, it may be possible for them to be utilised by a commercial operator. In the first instance you could contact a licensed commercial fisher to offer them the catch; carp-endorsed fishers may be contacted via the Department’s Commercial Fisheries Management section at Cronulla (9527 8411). Note that harvested carp cannot be sold, unless taken by a commercial fisher. Alternatively, contact a carp processing company, fish farm or other enterprise in your area directly.
For smaller quantities, options include eating, using as pet food, or composting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s