Bowfishers can now legally target carp after new rules and regulations for the sport were announced by Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall today.
The regulation change was underpinned by a successful 18-month trial that ran from late 2015 to mid 2017, which saw 200 designated bowfishers remove more than 700 carp from 42 selected sites. The sport of bowfishing has been found to be safe, sustainable and may generate economic benefits for rural and regional areas of NSW.
The anti-everything groups objected to the bow fishing trial, but common sense has prevailed in this case.
Mr Marshall said the changes would allow bowfishers to safely fish with specialised equipment in specific inland NSW waters while also helping control pest populations and come following extensive industry and community consultation.
“Carp are considered a noxious pest and remain the only species that may be taken using bowfishing equipment,” Mr Marshall said.
“This is a popular activity, and bowfishers will now be allowed to target carp using an upright bow with a specialised arrow attached through a tethered line and a reel.
“The fishing community asked the NSW Government to have a serious discussion about allowing bowfishing of carp, and I’m pleased to deliver this welcomed news today after the NSW Department of Primary Industries conducted public consultation.”
Mr Marshall said a successful trial of bowfishing for carp had previously shown it could be safe, effective, and provide economic benefits for rural and regional areas of NSW.
“The Trial Program in 2016 and 2017 and its subsequent review identified that, with the right regulation, bowfishing is a safe and sustainable technique,” Mr Marshall said.
“This is in addition to the huge environmental benefits that come from removing pest carp from inland waters.
“It is important bowfishers understand the rules, regulations and technique surrounding the sport before taking up bowfishing.”
To assist with education and awareness of rules and regulations, a NSW Recreational Bowfishing for Carp in Inland Waters Guide is available via theNSW DPI website.
Bowfishing is now prohibited in tidal waters, entrances to rivers and lakes, coastal lagoons, all offshore waters and estuaries and all beaches across the state. Declared trout waters will be off limits to bowfishing to ensure separation between trout anglers and bowfishers. A valid NSW Recreational Fishing License is also required.
As part of the changes, it cannot be conducted within 50 metres of a person, or vehicle not part of the fishing party, or within 100 metres of a dwelling, picnic area or campsite.