Waterwatch wants Canberrans to film carp breeding
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Waterwatch wants Canberrans to film carp breeding

Waterwatch wants Canberrans to log where they see carp having sex and to send them videos of the feral fish in the act.

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It's not out of voyeurism, but to help them better target the introduced pest's breeding sites.

By learning more about their activities, the government can better target them with herpes in the future.

Canberrans were urged to listen for splashing, look for carp and log their sightings online at www.feralfishscan.org.au.

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"The more we know about where carp breed in the ACT region, the better we can ultimately manage their numbers," Waterwatch facilitator Woo O'Reilly said.

"Don’t be shy. Basically, we need everyone to be on the look-out for carp doing what comes naturally between October and December when the water temperature is around 20 degrees."

Canberrans were asked to send their videos and photos to Waterwatch to show others what to look for and are even offering free 'Carp Love' t-shirts.

People were encouraged to use the hashtag #carplove20 when sharing their videos or photos on social media.

Ms O'Reilly said carp congregated in vegetated areas in creeks, rivers and on the edges of the lake and could be caught in the act close to the surface of the water.

Carp are considered a pest and feast on juvenile native fish, carry disease and, because they are bottom feeders, constantly stir up sediment in water bodies thereby affecting native fish.

Last year the government removed over five tonnes of carp after draining two Tuggeranong lakes.

"Hardly any native fish were found," Ms O'Reilly said.

"Carp make up more than 85 per cent of the biomass in our waterways and cause significant environmental problems."

She said by learning where the capital's carp bred, they could be better targeted with biological controls in the future.

The federal government is currently researching a targeted herpes virus for carp to reduce their numbers.

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