Bowfishing For Carp Allowed In Inland NSW Waters

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall with fisherman Johan Boshoff.


BOWFISHING is a growing sport that has recently put carp firmly in the crosshairs.

NSW bowfishers can now safely fish with specialised equipment in specific inland NSW waters while also helping control pest populations.

New rules and regulations for the sport were announced by Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall following extensive industry and community consultation.

“Carp are considered a noxious pest and remain the only species that may be taken using bowfishing equipment,” Mr Marshall said.

“This is a popular activity, and bowfishers will now be allowed to target carp using an upright bow with a specialised arrow attached through a tethered line and a reel.

“The fishing community asked the NSW Government to have a serious discussion about allowing bowfishing of carp, and I’m pleased to deliver this welcomed news today after the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) conducted public consultation.”

Mr Marshall said a successful trial of bowfishing for carp had previously shown it could be safe, effective, and provide economic benefits for rural and regional areas of NSW.

“The Trial Program in 2016 and 2017 and its subsequent review identified that, with the right regulation, bowfishing is a safe and sustainable technique,” Mr Marshall said.

“This is in addition to the huge environmental benefits that come from removing pest carp from inland waters.

“It is important bowfishers understand the rules, regulations and technique surrounding the sport before taking up bowfishing.”

To assist with education and awareness of rules and regulations, a NSW Recreational Bowfishing for Carp in Inland Waters Guide is available via the NSW DPI website at

Bowfishing is prohibited in tidal waters, entrances to rivers and lakes, coastal lagoons, all offshore waters and estuaries and all beaches across the state.

So, we will not be seeing anyone bowfishing off the local breakwall or jetty anytime soon, but it is a growing sport that now has the green light to take on an environmental pest in inland waters.

It is also prohibited in declared trout waters to ensure separation between trout anglers and bowfishers.

A valid NSW Recreational Fishing License is also required to Bowfish.

For safety as part of the changes, bowfishing cannot be conducted within 50 metres of a person, or vehicle not part of the fishing party, or within 100 metres of a dwelling, picnic area or campsite.



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