Bowhunting for Carp in NSW

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The NSW Government has legalised bowfishing as a recreational fishing technique for carp in selected inland waters.

Bowfishing combines elements of both hunting and fishing. Bowfishers use traditional recurve and compound bows together with specialised equipment such as fishing arrows and reels, to shoot and retrieve fish. Under the new rules, bowfishing in NSW will be carefully managed and limited to carp, an introduced pest species which contributes to the degradation of natural aquatic ecosystems. Bowfishing will also be prohibited in coastal marine and estuarine waters given there is no evidence of bowfishers being able to accurately identify the range and size of target species in coastal waters and safety concerns, particularly in the more populated coastal areas.

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.

Download the guide

More information can be found in the NSW recreational bowfishing for Carp in inland waterways guide (PDF, 2878.72 K    or

Visit the DPI NSW website for the up to date bowfishing regulations https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/