Common carp Cyprinus carpio are a declared pest fish throughout the Murray-Darling Basin. Successful management of this highly-invasive species aimed at mitigating its detrimental effects on aquatic ecosystems is therefore a priority issue for wetland restoration and rehabilitation programmes for the benefit of native fish communities. As part of a large-scale, field-based experiment on carp impacts, a population of carp was extensively sampled from 2009 to 2011 at Brenda Park wetland (lower River Murray, South australia) under both drought and flooding conditions. A consistent young-of-year (YoY) cohort was present in the 2009–10 breeding season, indicating successful spawning within the wetland. However, the same cohort appeared not to leave the wetland later in the season, possibly as a result of drought-induced low-flow conditions. Conversely, there was no evidence for within-wetland spawning in 2010–11 and 2011–12. Following a major flood event in Summer/autumn 2011, a consistent stock-size (210–440 mm tL) component was present in the carp population. Despite one successful spawning event out of the three breeding seasons of sampling, it cannot be ruled out that Brenda Park can act as a recruitment hot-spot for carp, especially in light of the large-scale population dynamics of this species. Measures for wetland rehabilitation should account for this and rely on a combination of flow regulation practices, enhancement of native fish passage and integrated carp management/control measures involving use of selective traps or exclusion screens, removal programmes and, whenever feasible, water draw-downs.