Tonnes of Lake Colac carp caught for bait

Fisherman Graham Milner and Colac Otway Shire Council’s Andrew Barber remove tonnes of carp from Lake Colac. Crayfish fishermen will use the carp for bait.

Fisherman Graham Milner and Colac Otway Shire Council’s Andrew Barber remove tonnes of carp from Lake Colac. Crayfish fishermen will use the carp for bait.

CARP taken from Lake Colac this week will become bait for commercial fishermen, a council worker says.

Colac Otway Shire Council’s environment projects officer Andrew Barber said he, professional fisherman Graham Milner and Mr Milner’s son Steve removed two tonnes of carp from Lake Colac near the mouth of Barongarook Creek.

“All these particular fish were ready to start spawning, a lot of them were in the nick of time,” Mr Barber said.

“We don’t want a repeat of what happened a few years ago where all the carp went up to spawn deep in Barongarook Creek and died and caused a disgusting smell and huge expense to clean up,” he said.

Mr Barber said Tuesday’s task was backbreaking work, with fish weighing four kilos on average and the largest measuring 10.4 kilograms.

“There are many, many more in Lake Colac, every carp that we can take out helps with the health of the lake,” Mr Barber said.

“Our number one priority is the barrier to stop the carp going up Barongarook Creek, where they clean their gills with the spawning activity,” he said.

“It was put in four weeks ago and it will remain there until March, which we will then have a discussion with fishermen about.

“Another professional fisherman has a temporary barrier upstream, and he has caught approximately a tonne.

“We know there is more in the creek and council will be assessing what to do next,” he said.

Mr Barber said South Australian crayfish fishermen and Apollo Bay shark fishermen would use the carp as bait.

Children from the Colac West and Colac primary schools were involved in the council’s carp project.

“They’ve been part of helping with the carp bins for people to put their carp in when they catch them,” Mr Barber said.

“The message is for people to continue to use these carp bins rather than leave them on the banks,” he said.

“The council will empty the bins, without upsetting people who use the creek.”

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