Stinker’s Fishin’: Carp invade inland rivers

Shoal Bay champ Dave Flatt wrestles a solid carp.

THERE is only one thing worse than catching one carp and that is catching two!

You will have gained that I am not a fan of the cane toad of our inland river systems.

Promising Shoal Bay golfer David ‘Flatty’ Flatt headed inland, with a tin of savage Shoal Bay garden worms, intent on catching a few inland fish in between his golfing days.

Fishing in Lake Mulwala at Yarrawonga, it only took a matter of minutes for Flatty to hook a monster.

The line went as tight as a violin string and the battle was intense until a solid fish bounced up the bank. What was it?

A miserable carp.

I remember when I was based in the central western town of Gilgandra back in the early 70s.

On weekends a group of us would head for the river and set our fishing lines, light a fire and settle back to a few cold beers as the sun set through the trees. Come morning, we noticed a couple of our lines had indeed caught a fish and the springer sticks, on which we tied our lines, were bending under the weight.

A couple of fat yellowbelly or golden perch, a beautiful native fish, were bounced up the bank. Time to pack up and head home.

Fifty years later the inland rivers are full of introduced carp.

It is impossible to catch a yellowbelly where I once did.

Not only the river systems but the dams are overrun with these invaders that cause immense damage and muddy the waters.

Scientists are attempting to find a way to rid the water systems of carp without impacting on indigenous fish, particularly yellowbelly and murray cod.

As yet the answer has not been found.

By John ‘Stinker’ CLARKE

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