European Carp were introduced into our waterways as early as 1859 and has since become our environment's public enemy number 1. The fish is a vile pest and their numbers are estimated to be in the billions. Carp have invaded nearly 90% of the Murray Darling Basin and cause devastating environmental damage.
SA Carp Frenzy serves a three-way purpose. At the end of the fishing day, the lake has fewer carp in it, the money raised from the event goes directly to the ongoing environmental cleanup and there are prizes up for grabs for all who can catch a carp or two.
Every competitor who catches and removes a carp from the lake receives an entry in the draw for the chance to win one of the many prizes on offer. It's not just those who catch the biggest fish who wins a prize, there are lots of chances to win a prize which total over $8000 and include: cash, weekend holiday packages, gift baskets, fishing gear, camping equipment, vouchers & even cartons of beer!
Prizes will be awarded to the biggest carp, there's a kayak/canoe section, kids section, men's and women's, best-represented group, biggest native fish and even a fancy dress competition. Every carp caught goes into the prize pool. Catch 10 carp - you have 10 chances to win, 20 carp = 20 chances etc.
Carp Frenzy has grown enormously in popularity since its beginning in 2013 when 1700 carp were removed from Lake Bonney. Each year, the number of fish taken has never gone over the 2,000 mark but in 2017, 500 fishermen caught 16,000 fish in 9 hours - a staggering result.
While it's not illegal to return the caught fish to the water, fishers are encouraged to humanely kill them and hand them over to the organisers who take them to fertiliser manufacturer Charlie Carp for positive reuse. The fish are noxious and are not fit for human consumption.
Lake Bonney is a freshwater lake fed by the River Murray. The town of Barmera sits on its shores. Barmera is approximately 225kms from Adelaide. There's an abundance of things to do in the Riverland and there's lots of accommodation available. Go up and stay for a day or two!