The two-day event today and Wednesday is the country’s first commercial fishing tournament for Asian carp.
Twenty-one teams from Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee have signed up.
“Our goal is simple: We want to purge 100 tons of carp from two of the state’s best fishing lakes,” said Ron Brooks, fisheries director for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
“Kentucky Afield” television host Tim Farmer will emcee the final tournament weigh-in at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Kentucky Dam Marina ramp in Gilbertsville.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is offering $10,000 to the commercial fishing team that brings in the most poundage. A total of $20,000 among the top five teams.
Netting is the best way to capture Asian carp since they are plankton feeders and do not bite baited hooks.
Approximately 50 volunteers will help monitor the contest. Spectators can see Asian carp filleting demonstrations and have their questions answered by fisheries biologists.
Final weigh-ins are planned nightly at 7 p.m. at the Kentucky Dam Marina ramp, located at the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park.
“We want people to come to this event so they can see the problem we’re dealing with in both of these lakes,” Brooks said.
Fish caught during the tournament will be placed in a refrigerated truck for transport to processing plants. Asian carp have white meat without a strong fishy taste when properly prepared. Department employees will be frying Asian carp at the marina ramp and will provide free samples for the public.
Asian carp include three species: the bighead carp, silver carp and black carp. Asian carp spread throughout much of the Mississippi River basin after escaping from fish farms in the 1970s.
They are found throughout most of the Ohio River, Kentucky River, Green River, Salt River, Rough River and Kentucky and Barkley lakes.
This press release was submitted by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.