Competition to bag carp and tilapia

COMPETITION: President of Logan and Albert Fish Management Association Mark Ward prepares for the seventh annual carp and tilapia eradication competition to be hld at Wyaralong Dam on March 23.
COMPETITION: President of Logan and Albert Fish Management Association Mark Ward prepares for the seventh annual carp and tilapia eradication competition to be hld at Wyaralong Dam on March 23.

The Logan and Albert Fish Management Association continues its mission to eradicate carp and tilapia with its seventh annual fishing competition to be held on Wyaralong Dam on March 23.

President Mark Ward said about 80 carp and 2000 tilapia were removed from the dam last year and he was hoping for a big haul this year.

“They are the toads of the waterways, only worse. They over populate and squeeze out the native species,” he said.

“The carp dredge up the bottom and eat the native vegetation. They leave nothing behind. The per centage of carp to native species is massive,” Mr Ward said.

Mr Ward the ‘carp out, natives in’ concept was started by a small group of concerned anglers and farmers in the Rathdowney/Beaudesert area keen to eradicate noxious carp out of the Logan and Albert river systems and replace them with native fish.

LAFMA, formerly known as Carpbusters, ran seven successful Easter carp eradication competitions from 1998 to 2004, removing more than 10 tonnes of carp from the rivers and raising about $65,000 to buy fingerlings for the native fish stocking program.

Wyaralong Dam, 14km northwest of Beaudesert, was completed in 2011 and filled almost on completion. LAFMA took on Wyaralong Dam as a project for its fish stocking program in 2012.

“Because the Logan and Albert systems were already infested with carp and tilapia, we knew it would not be long before these pests took over the dam,” Mr Ward said.

Mr Ward said that in 2013 LAFMA reinvented the carp competition, this time concentrating on Wyaralong Dam and investing any net profit into Australian bass and Mary River cod fingerlings.

Previous carp/tilapia eradication competitions have yielded the following results: 2013 - 180 carp (largest 4kg) and no tilapia from134 competitors;  2014 - 273 carp (largest 4.8kg) and 75 tilapia from 140 competitors; 2015 -109 carp (largest 6.28kg) and 803 tilapia (largest 2.06kg) from 255 competitors; 2016 - 62 carp (largest 6.89kg) and 1189 tilapia (largest 1.8kg) from 251 competitors; 2017 - 28 carp (largest 6.9kg) and 1611 tilapia (largest 2.53kg) from 160 competitors and 2018 - 81 carp (largest 2.48kg) and 2109 tilapia (largest 2.26kg) from 228 competitors.

“The tilapia population has exploded in Wyaralong Dam. Let's hope stocking the dam with an apex predator such as Mary River cod will once again restore the balance,” Mr Ward said.

In this year’s competition prizes will be awarded to those anglers catching the most and biggest in each species in various age groups. The one-day competition is family friendly event and aims to catch and remove these noxious fish from the dam while helping LAFMA raise funds to supplement the Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme.

Registered competitors will go into the draw to win a kayak, even if they choose not to fish.

Registrations are being taken on site from 4pm to 6pm on March 22 and again from 5.30am on the day of the competition. The competition runs from 7am with the weigh-in to close at 2pm.

Registration is $20 for senior competitiors, and $5 to juniors (11 years and under) and to teenagers aged 12 to 16 years.  Senior competitors will require a stocked impoundment permit, which is available online or at Australia Post before the day of the competition.

Worms and corn will be available on the day from 6am.

Fishing is available from the bank, canoe, kayak or boat without the use of the motor as this as there is an electric-only impoundment.  Motors can be left fitted, but not started.

Mr Ward said it was illegal to catch carp and put it back in the water or bring them home in Queensland.  Catches of carp are either left on the bank or buried.  Catch from the competition is taken by a dairy farmer who turns it into compost, to use as fertiliser. 

“For a competition, they make good sport,” he said.

Information and entry forms on lafma.org