The coolest place to be on Australia Day was the Wee Waa Carp Muster: the popular event lured a big crowd of local families and friends, who gathered under the shady trees at Yellow Banks and celebrated the long weekend.

“The kids especially had a great time being able to fish and go for a dip in the river with their friends when the day was getting warmer,” said Wee Waa Fishing Club secretary Ally Cruckshank.

The location looked picture perfect thanks to a working bee by some industrious volunteers earlier in the week.

“The carp muster was a fantastic day,” added Wee Waa Fishing Club secretary Mrs Cruckshank.

The fish were biting, the river was flowing, and a barbecue was sizzling as community members of all ages soaked up the fun atmosphere and entertaining event that had something for everyone – from throwing a line in, to a lure casting competition and a chance to relax and catch-up with mates.

“We certainly did have people of all ages ranging from babies to older members of the community,” said Mrs Cruckshank.

“It was great to see everyone enjoying the day and removing carp from the river and creek at the same time.

“We held this in conjunction with a sign-up day for the club and ended up with 157 entrants for the muster and over 100 members joining the club that are both new and had been members previously.”

Mrs Cruckshank encouraged any aspiring anglers or locals looking for a new hobby or activity to get in touch and join the fishing club.

The success of the Australia Day event is proof the committee’s commitment to breathing new life into the fishing club and carp muster is working well.

And now community members have had a taste, there’s an appetite for more.

“We received so much positive feedback, and a lot of parents were saying that they can’t stop the kids from wanting to throw in a line,” said Mrs Cruckshank.

“After being quiet for a few years over COVID it was amazing to see so many people come out in support.

“The committee has some old and new faces.

“Scott Stewart is our new president, Rebecca Dewson is the new treasurer, and I’m the new secretary,” explained Mrs Cruckshank.

“We have three vice-presidents: Luke Dewson, Mal Hall, and Adam Marchant.

“They’ve been involved with the club for some time.

“We’re hoping to keep this momentum rolling with regular meet-ups and should be releasing some fingerlings into the river soon.

Aside from the prizes and providing good times, carp musters are a fantastic way to improve the health of the Namoi River.

Carp are an invasive fish species that can still thrive in poor conditions and have a negative impact on water quality and biodiversity.

So, catching them is a win for the environment too.

Australia Day Wee Waa Carp Muster results:

Adult longest – Kristie Allen (57centimetres). Adult most – Dayna Stanford (30 carp). 13 to 18 years longest – Deuk Davies (67cm). 13 to 18 years most – Tom Holland (57). 5 to 12 years longest – Sonny Mallinson. Boys 5 – 12 years most – Ned Wilson. Girls 5 – 12 years most – Sophia Woolcock. Boys under years 5 longest – Nathaniel Hay (47.5cm). Girls under 5 years longest – Rosie Reynolds (72cm). Under 5 years most – Harper George (61).

To order photos from this page click here