Experimental carp harvest coming to lake

Bighead is among the species found in Kentucky Lake.

Contributed

Public access to Smith, Pisgah bays restricted during research effort

FRANKFORT -- The deployment of an experimental Asian carp harvest method on Kentucky Lake will impact public access during the month of February.

In an effort to rid the lake of thousands of invasive Asian carp, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Tennessee Valley Authority have scheduled a research effort that began Monday.

"Kentucky is excited to collaborate with our federal partners to examine ways to address the Asian carp issue at the Kentucky Lake," said Gov. Andy Beshear. "This will be the first time that the method will be conducted on a reservoir greater than 500 acres in the United States."

The research effort will last approximately three weeks and impact public access to Smith and Pisgah bays. Recreational boaters should avoid the embayments to minimize risk of damage and disruption to the research operation.

The USGS developed the modified unified method, which is inspired by a traditional Chinese fishing technique and has produced encouraging results on smaller reservoirs in Illinois and Missouri.

The method involves setting a series of nets and using boats equipped with underwater speakers and electrofishing gear to drive the carp to sequentially smaller compartments, where they can be removed from the water.