A key challenge facing the Bourke Ain’t caught Nuffin’ Fishing Club has been the introduction of Carp to River systems across Australia. Carp have become a key threat to ecological communities as there feeding behaviours have led to increased turbidity levels in the waterways and have undermined riverbanks. It is apparent that Carp have altered native fish stock numbers as they compete for habitat and food. As a recreational fishing club the reduction in native fish numbers and poor water quality has significantly altered the capacity for the group to fish.
Bourke’s Fishing Club recognised that this issue needed greater community action to tackle the problem head on. The Fishing Club formed an official Incorporated association in 2013 and since its inception has increased its member base to 115. Not only did they engage the Bourke community but a number of Stakeholders from Western Local Land Services, Western Landcare and DPI Fisheries that were able to provide financial and in-kind contributions. They procedded with running a number of carp removal events and encouraged community participation from a wide demographic.
Bourke Fishing Club has now run a series of Carp Musters. The events have attracted over 250 participants of a wide variety of ages. The Carp Musters have seen over 5 tonne of Carp removed from the Darling River and a great number of people practising sustainable fishing through the catch and release method with native fish. The events have also included an educational session where by participants hear from specialists in the fishing industry and are encouraged to continue sustainable recreational fishing. This is highly important as a key focus of the Bourke Fishing Club is to preserve native fish numbers so that future generations can enjoy fishing just as they have. The Fishing club has been able to take a community action approach that along with complementary projects such as re-snagging the Darling and Fingerlings releases is working towards restoring the Darling River.
For more information and PDF download please visit: https://landcare.nsw.gov.au/groups/Western_landcare/bourke-aint-caught-nuffin-fishing-club/