"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients." - Julia Child

Pick & Preserve Olives

Pick & Crumble Peaches

Rub & Sizzle Beef

Hook & Cook Carp

When you help yourself to the plentiful carp of the Lachlan River, you will be indulging in the world's primary source of protein and a good free feed.

As an introduced fish, the carp have been recognized as a pest whose numbers have exploded since the 1970's when a hybrid strain was introduced into our rivers. For the sporting fishermen the carp are are both pest and conquest, for the gourmet cook, carp are a great base protein. Carp fillets lend themselves beautifully to creative cooking.

The carp's reputation as a pest comes from the damage it causes to river ecology and the livelihood of native fish. Carp are in competition with native fish for food.

Carp have changed the once clear flowing streams into muddy waters, uprooting aquatic plants, as they sift through sediment on the river floor. The increase of muddy waters lowers the levels of light, which has stunted the growth of plants in the Lachlan.

It is improbable that the carp will ever be eradicated. The female carp is capable of producing between 80,000 and 1,500,000 eggs, and can rapidly repopulate the waterways when populations are reduced. Every female caught removes the potential of up to 1,500,000 eggs in the waterways.

If you are fishing for carp for food or just recreation, the Fisheries Department recommend that you store the carp on ice for 20 minutes for a humane death. Cut up the carp you have no use for, returning them to the river for yabbies to feed on.

Conservation has a role in minimizing the damage from carp. Restoration and protection of aquatic habitats, can help to tip the balance in favour of native fish and away from introduced pests such as carp.

You don't have to try hard to land yourself a carp, some fisherman estimate their haul of carp is 50 times that of native fish, and the Lachlan has the most prolific population of all. There are many great carp fishing spots, Forbes Lake is a prized carp fishing destination.

A hook covered in dough bait is a popular method of fishing for carp. Dough bait can be made from bread or wheat bix rolled into a ball with sugar or fruit.

Carp fishermen say, before you cast your line out, watch out for mud puffs and air bubbles floating to the surface to target your cast. If you can't see any evidence, try throwing out some burley (fish parts and blood) into the water to attract the carp. The carp will try a few test bites before they hook themselves on.

Remember to store the carp in ice before preparing it into fillets. This stops the muddy taste of the fish. The subtle flavor of carp make it the prefect protein base for meals, substitute it for chicken in curries or other favourite meals.

The Lachlan's Catchment Management Authority have prepared instructions to prepare carp fillets.

Carp fishing gear, a choice of fishing and camping spots, instructions on preparing fillets and the carp recipes are available at the Forbes Visitor Information Centre.

Catch, Cook & Eat Yabbies

Meet the honest farmers

Watch "The Heart of the Country"