Kentucky tourney removes over 41 tons of problem fish
by Dylan Lovan, Associated Press
March 14, 2013 01:10 PM | 1103 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Billy Mull, a commercial fisherman from Grand Rivers, Ky., unloads Asian carp from his boat during a fishing tournament that was organized to remove the fast-breeding fish from two western Kentucky lakes on March 13, 2013 in Gilbertsville, Ky. State officials created the tournament to raise awareness about the carp, which has spread throughout the Mississippi River and its tributaries since being introduced in the 1970s. (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan)
Billy Mull, a commercial fisherman from Grand Rivers, Ky., unloads Asian carp from his boat during a fishing tournament that was organized to remove the fast-breeding fish from two western Kentucky lakes on March 13, 2013 in Gilbertsville, Ky. State officials created the tournament to raise awareness about the carp, which has spread throughout the Mississippi River and its tributaries since being introduced in the 1970s. (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan)
slideshow
Fisherman Marcus Mann unloads Asian carp from his boat Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at Kentucky Dam Marina in Gilbertsville, Ky. Wednesday was the final day of what the State Fish and Wildlife department says is the country's first-ever commercial fishing tournament for the Asian carp. The fast-breeding Asian carp's exploding population has infested lakes and tributaries all along the Mississippi River. The competition attracted about 20 fishing teams from Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee. (AP Photo/Dylan Love)
Fisherman Marcus Mann unloads Asian carp from his boat Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at Kentucky Dam Marina in Gilbertsville, Ky. Wednesday was the final day of what the State Fish and Wildlife department says is the country's first-ever commercial fishing tournament for the Asian carp. The fast-breeding Asian carp's exploding population has infested lakes and tributaries all along the Mississippi River. The competition attracted about 20 fishing teams from Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee. (AP Photo/Dylan Love)
slideshow
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A fishing tournament designed to reduce the surging population of Asian carp in two western Kentucky lakes removed nearly 83,000 pounds of the problem fish in two days.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officials say the commercial fishing competition was the first-ever to be aimed at Asian carp, which breed rapidly and have spread through the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

The final two-day total of 82,953 pounds was short of a 200,000-pound goal, but state officials considered it a success on many fronts, said Kentucky Fish and Wildlife spokesman Mark Marraccini.

“It validated some of the things we had thought, that good skilled fisherman can come in there and take out 10,000 pounds a day, all you have to do is create a market,” Marraccinni said on Thursday. The fish can be harvested to produce fertilizers, pet foods and fish oil products, he said. They are also edible.

State officials are concerned about the rapid spread of the fish in Barkley and Kentucky lakes. The carp breed faster than some native species and eat up the algae and zooplankton that other fish depend on.

The Asian carp infiltrated the Mississippi River in the 1970s after getting loose from fish farms. Federal officials, worried about the species reaching the Great Lakes, are conducting a study to investigate how Asian carp DNA got into rivers and canals in the Chicago area.

Ron Brooks, Kentucky’s fisheries director, said one species of the problem fish, the silver carp, is prone to leaping out of the water when agitated by boat noise, which can injure boaters and skiers.

Brooks said state officials will make tweaks to the next tournament to attract more fishing teams.

The two-day tournament winner was Barry Mann of Gilbertsville. His team hauled in 28,669 pounds and won a top prize of $10,000. The commercial teams used nets since the carp don’t bite on baited hooks. More than 20 teams signed up but just 11 teams brought in fish for weighing, Marraccinni said.

The removed carp were taken to a processing plant in Mississippi, where they will be harvested for fish oils and used in pet foods, Marraccini said.

Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides