Hundreds of anglers are expected to descend on Eagle Vale Pond this Sunday for the annual catch a carp contest.
The important question is: how small will the winner be – the carp that is, not the person who catches it.
Now in its seventh year, it is the one day in the calendar when people can legally fish the pond.
Catch a carp was set-up to counter the environmental damage caused by the carp, an introduced species.
Carp, a highly adaptive and hardy fish native to Asia, were introduced to NSW in 1865. They contribute to algal blooms, waterway erosion and a reduction in native fish populations.
Last year’s winning catch measured 56cm, underlining the success of the campaign which has seen a steady reduction in the size and number of carp in the pond.
That’s why it would be good to see something even smaller being the winner this Sunday.
Either way, catch a carp has become a fun and popular day on the Campbelltown calendar, and mayor George Brticevic agrees.
“Protecting the natural environment from invasive species is an important function of council, but it isn’t usually much fun,” he says.
“Catch a Carp, on the other hand, has captured people’s imagination, while at the same time educating them in a playful way about the harm different pests have on local flora and fauna.’’
About 500 people are expected to attend the free community event this Sunday in Eagle Vale Reserve, Emerald Drive, which goes from 7am to 10.30am.
As well as fishing there will be information for individuals and families to take home on sustainable fishing practices.
Prizes will be awarded for the biggest and smallest carp caught on the day, as well as the most caught.
A free sausage sizzle and raffle will also be provided for participants and their families.