Fishing in the ACT

Fishing is a common pastime in Canberra. You'll often see families fishing together, mates throwing in their lines, or a solitary angler whiling away the hours by the water’s edge. A quarter of respondents to University of Canberra's 2015 survey reported fishing at least once a year.

But we need to look after our fish if we want to go fishing! This means keeping our waterways healthy, looking after our native species, managing our waterways and fisheries carefully, stocking our lakes and ponds with native fish and regulating recreational fishing.

Government ecologists do the science. Policy officers shape the regulations and legislation. Rangers do on-ground environmental work and enforce compliance with regulations.

But the community also has a vital role. If you use our waterways you have an important perspective about managing our waterways for the benefit of anglers, other recreational users, the environment and the wildlife.

We would value your input to the following consultation.

Current consultation

National Carp Control Plan

The Australian Government is currently developing the National Carp Control Plan (NCCP). This is a $15 million program to identify a safe, effective and integrated range of measures to control carp populations in Australia. The key component is exploring the possible release of the carp virus, Cyprinid herpesvirus 3, which would significantly reduce populations.

Detailed risk assessment and extensive research, planning and consultation is being undertaken across Australia to ensure the benefits and risks are fully understood so that recommendations can be made to governments at the end of 2018.

On Monday 19 February 2018, a community briefing session was held to help inform the development of a draft plan. This session provided an opportunity for the ACT community to find out more about the project and offer local insights on the potential release of the virus in our waterways.

You can still find out more about the carp virus and future opportunities to have your say.


Fisheries Act Review

The Fisheries Act 2000 provides for the sustainable management of fishing in the ACT. It promotes the protection and conservation of native fish species and their habitats to ensure high quality and sustainable recreational fishing. It also guides management of commercial fish production and fishing enterprises, fish dealing and live fish transport. The Act is being reviewed to ensure it meets contemporary needs.

Consultation on the discussion paper has now closed, but you can still see The review of the Fisheries Act and keep updated on progress of the review.


Aquatic and Riparian Strategy

Our rivers and the land alongside them are crucial to the ongoing survival and wellbeing of wildlife, the environment—and humans. The Government is developing a new strategy that outlines how we can best continue to conserve and manage our waterways. It includes action plans for seven threatened aquatic species.

Consultation on the draft strategy has now closed, but you can still see the Draft Aquatic and Riparian Strategy and keep updated on the final strategy.


Where's your favourite fishing spot in the ACT?

ACT Healthy Waterways

ACT Healthy Waterways is a joint initiative of the ACT and Australian governments to improve the quality of water entering our lakes and waterways and flowing downstream into the Murrumbidgee River system. It is part of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan.

With a budget of over $80 million, the project will reduce the level of nutrients, sediment and pollutants entering our lakes and waterways.

The project includes the construction of infrastructure – like wetlands, ponds and rain gardens – as well as research trials, a community education campaign and improvements to water monitoring practices.

More about Healthy Waterways


Volunteer for the environment

Volunteers are vital in helping the government maintain our waterways. Many volunteer groups contribute their time and energy to plant along the riparian edges, remove weeds and pests, monitor water quality, check out the health of platypus and frog populations and support rangers in other environmental work.

Find out more about how you can volunteer.

Fisheries Act Review

Managing our fisheries for all

We are reviewing the Fisheries Act 2000, which provides for the sustainable management of fishing in the ACT.

Consultation on the discussion paper is now closed. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion.

See what's happened so far


    National Carp Control Plan

    We are working with the National Carp Control Plan (NCCP) project team to consider ACT region specific issues associated with the possible release of the carp virus in Australia to help control carp populations. The NCCP project team wants to understand the ACT's waterways – what's important about them, how you use them, and your concerns and questions so that they can be addressed in the plan.

    ACT specific consultation was held in February 2018. To find out more about the carp virus and how to get involved in future consultation, click here.


    Draft Aquatic and Riparian Strategy

    Our rivers and the land alongside them are crucial to the ongoing survival and wellbeing of wildlife, the environment—and humans. The Government is preparing an aquatic and riparian strategy that outlines how we can best continue to conserve and manage our waterways. It includes action plans for seven threatened aquatic species.

    Consultation on the draft 2018 ACT Aquatic and Riparian Conservation Strategy has now closed. Thank you to everyone who contributed. The final strategy and action plans will be available here when finalised.

    Find out more about consultation on the Draft Aquatic and Riparian Strategy