The Australian and Tasmanian governments today reaffirmed their support for the state’s successful carp management program with an additional $1.37 million in funding over the next two years.
The Tasmanian Carp Management program has been running since 1995 following the discovery of European carp in Lake Crescent and soon after in Lake Sorell.
Over the past 20 years the Australian Government has invested $1.64 million and the Tasmanian Government has invested $8.92 million in eradicating carp.
This investment has resulted in the complete eradication of carp from Lake Crescent, and current estimates predict that the carp population in Lake Sorell should be nearing eradication by 2018.
Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, said that the Australian Government will contribute an additional $550,000 to the program over the next two years to help continue the good work.
“This program is a great example of the federal and state governments working together to deliver benefits to local communities and the environment,” Minister Hunt said.
“The Australian and Tasmanian governments saw this program as a unique opportunity to eradicate carp before they spread into other waterways.”
“I am proud of the results this partnership has delivered, with carp now restricted to Lake Sorrell.”
“With the additional funding both governments are contributing, we are aiming to take a step closer to making Tasmanian waters carp free.”
Tasmanian Deputy Premier and Minister for Primary Industries and Water Jeremy Rockliff said that the Carp Management Program had proven to be a success.
“The Tasmanian Government has worked hard and has invested more than $8 million to eradicate carp from Tasmanian waters over the past 20 years,” he said.
“Our Government will invest an additional $820,000 to rid the state of this feral pest, which threatens the environment, economy and our recreational values. Additional resources and expertise of the Inland Fisheries Service will continue to boost our drive towards final eradication.”
“We welcome the Australian Government’s continued commitment to the final stages of eradicating carp from Tasmania.”
“This additional funding will allow us to continue to eradicate the last known Carp population at Lake Sorrell.”
The Federal Member for Lyons Eric Hutchinson said the program was achieving great outcomes for the state.
“I’m really pleased that the time I have spent with Minister Hunt on Tasmania’s carp eradication program has delivered benefits,” Mr Hutchinson said.
“There will be benefits not only for the environment but for recreational fishermen to use the lake as one of the premier trout fisheries in the state again.”
“People said that this could not be done. It has been done and it’s an extraordinary achievement.”
The European carp (Cyprinus carpio) is an invasive species of freshwater fish widespread on mainland Australia. This species is listed as a Controlled Fish under the Tasmanian Inland Fisheries Act 1995.
In high densities carp have the potential to degrade water quality, damage sensitive aquatic ecosystems and adversely impact on native fish populations, as well as commercial and recreational fisheries.
Lakes Sorell and Crescent between them hold a range of significant values at risk from the impact of carp including, the full range of the golden galaxias (an endemic fish), a RAMSAR listed wetland, commercial eel fishery and two major recreational fisheries. The lakes also provide water for irrigation and the town supply for Bothwell and Hamilton.
Surveys downstream of Lake Crescent in the Clyde River have been conducted annually since 1995 and have failed to find any evidence of carp populations. The river system is considered carp-free.