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Thursday, 27 March 1980
Page: 1082

Senator KNIGHT (ACT) -Can the Minister representing the Minister for the Capital Territory give an indication of the extent to which European carp have now penetrated and infested the waterways of the Australian Capital Territory, particularly Lake Burley Griffin and Lake Ginninderra? Is the Minister also able to give us an indication of the sort of damage that the carp are now doing in those waterways and lakes, particularly as they affect native fish and introduced species, such as trout?

Senator SCOTT - I do have some information which is relevant to the honourable senator's question. The presence of European carp in the waterways around Canberra is proving to be a serious problem. They are increasing rather than diminishing in numbers. I understand that their size varies from some 10 to 20 lb, which should make for attractive fishing. Indeed that is one of the measures of control. There is a program which encourages predatory birds and fish as another means of controlling the European carp in Lake Burley Griffin and Lake Ginninderra in particular. They are useful measures of control, but most certainly they are not proving to be total measures.

The problems that relate to the European carp appear to be mainly in the ways in which they affect the reeds around the waterways, which are havens for wildlife in the area and which, further than that, are sources of breeding for a fish parasite which attacks the trout that are introduced into these lakes. Consequently, the carp are responsible for very considerable damage across quite a wide cross-section of the life within those lakes. As I said, on the positive side, I suppose it can be confirmed that the carp are an important attraction to anglers. But to this point there has been no really viable control of the European carp. Intensive scientific investigation of this problem is being undertaken, particularly in Victoria. It is being observed closely by the Australian Capital Territory, and the results of that research will be implemented in the waterways around the Capital Territory.

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