Skip to content

Carp exclusion screens help to develop a nursery habitat for native fish

Water quality and native fish species have benefited significantly from recent carp exclusion in two temporary wetlands within the Western region.

The installation of temporary carp exclusion screens on the inlets of the wetlands, organised by Local Land Services Western Region in partnership with NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI), resulted in water quality improving as adult carp feeding behaviour damages water quality.

The wetlands, which were both in the Wentworth area, were totally dry when the temporary carp exclusion screens were erected, which helped the habitat and aquatic communities become established.

Senior Land Services Officer, Kade Small, was pleased with the outcomes of the projects.

“The aim was to promote the development of productive nursery habitats for native fish and to monitor the effectiveness of this management intervention for juvenile populations of flow-pulse specialists like golden perch, silver perch and other small bodied native species,” Mr Small said.

“During the project, we monitored water quality on a regular basis and conducted fish community assessments to document colonisation by native and non-native species.

“We were able to determine that in wetlands that were excluded of adult carp, water quality improved, greater species richness was identified and juvenile fish were utilising the site including the recreationally important golden perch.”

Local Land Services Western Region and NSW DPI worked on another project, which was conducted on Tar-Ru Aboriginal lands with support from landholders, and it also resulted in enhanced water quality, less turbidity and aquatic plant establishment and density.

Senior Land Service Officer – Aboriginal Communities, Ronni O’Donnell, said this project was just another example of the work Local Land Services Western Region is doing with stakeholders and customers to achieve positive outcomes.

“Coordinating these projects with a wide range of partners is enjoyable and when we achieve outcomes like we have in this instance it is very satisfying for all,” Mrs O’Donnell said.

“These projects could serve as a template for further use of adult carp fencing for achieving positive results within regulated river areas and wetlands.”

Find out more about these projects by contacting Mr Small or Mrs O’Donnell at the Local Land Services Western Region’s Buronga office (03) 5021 9460 or contact NSW DPI Fisheries Manager Iain Ellis on (03) 5051 6217.

Media contact: Charlie Whiteley 0428 679 974.