A March fishing tournament is set to curb the growing population of the invasive Asian carp in the region.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources' Carp Madness Tournament features commercial anglers competing in Kentucky and Barkley Lakes on March 12th and 13th. The Five teams that bring back the highest poundage of fish will split $20,000 dollars. Fisheries Director Ron Brooks says this is a good way to show commercial fishermen there is a market for the troublesome carp.
“The only people who can take out enough of them to make a difference is the commercial industry,” Brooks said. “But if they don’t have the impetus to go after these fish then it doesn’t really matter. What this tournament does is it provides them with the opportunity over a two day period to potentially win $10,000 dollars for instance to target fish they wouldn’t normally spend the time of day on.”
Brooks says the tournament is also a good way to clear the lakes’ waters before crappie season begin. Brooks says the department will sell the fish caught during the tournament to area processing centers.
Asian carp were brought to America by fish farmers in the 1970s after which they escaped and established themselves in the rivers and lakes of the mid-west United States.