Ipswich's carp and tilly busters vow to keep on fishing

A DEFIANT "carp hunter" who has told of his struggle to rid Ipswich lakes infested with the pest has inspired others fishermen to voice their concerns.

Fishermen previously silent about their never-ending battle for fear of being frowned upon are speaking out on why their fight against 'unstoppable' pest fish is an important one.   

What tilapia look like:

Redbank Plains resident Jesse Harrison said he fished in lakes because he was trying to help keep invasive pest species under control.

READ MORE: Angler reveals reason for ignoring 'no fishing' signs

Jesse himself responded to the article, saying the issue of pest fish such as carp and tilapia in our waterways needed to be brought to the public's attention.

"Maybe now it might just inform people that we aren't there to be taking dinner home but in fact getting rid of pest fish and cleaning our water for the better," he said.

Pest fish facts:

  • Tilapia were first introduced into Australia in the 1970s as ornamental fish and are now regarded as one of the greatest threats to Australia's native biodiversity.
  • Female tilapia carry juveniles and eggs in their mouths, and these can survive for a considerable time after the adult dies.
  • Tilapia and carp are restricted noxious fish under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
  • Tilapia can survive temperatures between 8 and 42oC and carp can live in temperatures from 4-35oC.
  • Carp are native to central Asia and were imported to Australia.
  • They pose a major environmental threat and it is illegal for them to be kept as ornamental fish in Queensland.

- Source: daf.qld.gov.au

"We will never get on top of the tilapia and carp problem but the more we pull out the better."

And Jesse is not alone.

He is part of a Facebook group with more than 2000 members dedicated to eradicating pest fish from south-east Queensland.

How to spot pest carp

In March the group set a goal of eradicating 15,000 pest fish by June 1 - today.

"A page dedicated to the eradication and control of noxious fish in south-east Queensland," the SEQ Carp & Tilly Busters page states.

"Our purpose is to educate the public, sharing tips, tricks, locations, baits, tackle set ups, and a few laughs along the way."

Many Ipswich readers also voiced their support for Jesse's actions, saying pest fish needed to go, especially in Spring Lake.

"Years ago I took a handline down there late at night. Some lady called the cops," Bree Pawlasty said.

"Carp hunters are everywhere," Brenton Hawck.

Mark Beutel said Ipswich City Council needed to do more about the noxious fish problem.

"So Springfield Lake is full of Tilapia and he is getting in trouble for removing a declared noxious fish from the waterway and the owners/people responsible for the waterway are doing what to control the pest fish in their water? What am I missing here," he asked.

Rosie Toppin congratulated Jesse for "doing something the locals just assumed was wrong" and Cam Jay said more areas should be opened to fishing in Ipswich.

"Be good if more areas were opened up to fishing with the appropriate infrastructure installed, I know this would require council and state entities to work together which seems to be something that gets handballed between the two levels quit regularly," he said.

"One only has to look at the poor state of the Cribb Park and Goodna boat ramp facility's along with access to them and the water for recreational fishing."

Tim Donselaar also encouraged the Redbank Plains fisherman.

"I'm happy for you to kill all the tilapia and carp so the natives can thrive in the lakes," he said.

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