Winter Storm Warning in effect from Wednesday, 6:00 AM CST until Thursday, 6:00 AM CST. Source: U.S. National Weather Service
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

fishing boatTRIGG COUNTY, Ky. (3/15/13) – Commercial anglers netted nearly 83,000 pounds of Asian carp during the country's first freshwater commercial fishing tournament.
 
Barry Mann claimed the top prize of $10,000 after hauling 28,670 pounds of fish from Kentucky and Barkley lakes during the two-day tournament held March 12-13.
 
"We were in them all day long," said Mann, of Benton, Ky. "They were still jumping around the boat when we had to leave. What we went for was 20,000 pounds. We were pleased with our weight."
 
Ron Brooks, fisheries director for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, said the tournament underscored the enormity of Asian carp issues in two of Kentucky's most economically and recreationally important reservoirs - as well as other areas in the state.
 
"Kentucky waters are infested with Asian carp," Brooks said. "The 40 tons of carp removed during this tournament is not insignificant, but this is only a drop in the proverbial bucket. The results were as clear as is the message: We must employ the commercial industry to remove Asian carp."
 
Two species of Asian carp - bighead carp and silver carp - are plankton feeders and do not take bait off a hook like a sport fish. Brooks noted that these carp over harvest plankton, which are the base of the aquatic food chain. Carp threaten the well-being of native fish and mussels by removing this source of nutrition..
 
Twenty-one commercial fishing teams originally signed up for the tournament. The number dropped to 15 on opening day, then to 11 teams as some fishermen dropped far behind Mann's team and the team of Heath Frailley, the runner-up.
 
Frailley, a resident of Calhoun, Ky., brought back 22,000 pounds of carp. His team earned the $4,000 second-place prize. Owen Trainer of Sturgis, Ky., secured third place and a $3,000 prize with 7,790 pounds of fish. Ben Duncan, who only fished one day, won $2,000 for fourth place for 7,160 pounds of fish. Joe Bommarito took fifth place and a $1,000 prize with 4,340 pounds of fish.
 
Department officials had hoped that each team would harvest 5,000 pounds of fish a day to meet the tournament goal of 200,000 pounds. The most experienced teams managed to exceed the daily goal.
 
Volunteer monitors for the tournament came from Maine, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky. The monitors noted that sport fish species such bass, bluegill, catfish, and crappie were rarely caught in the nets during the tournament. Sport fish were release immediately.
 
Brooks wants to hold more tournaments. "The numbers of carp are becoming alarming in many waters, including Kentucky and Barkley lakes," he said. "Tournaments are currently this department's only tool for removing measurable quantities of Asian carp."
 
Brooks said the department has learned much from this pilot tournament and plans to have more if funding can be found to give impetus to commercial fishermen to fish the two reservoirs. "The number of tournaments is dependent upon, of course, funding," he said. "We need sponsors and we need donations."
 
The first Asian carp commercial fishing tournament was successful because of key sponsors such as the League of Kentucky Sportsmen, Cabelas and the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
 
Those wishing to support future tournaments through donations can do so online at www.kentuckywildlife.com.
 
Tournaments will continue until fish processing plants can be built to support the existing market for Asian carp. That could generate the prices needed by commercial fishermen to make Asian carp worth their while.
 
"With just a little economic boost, the fish processing industry in this area would take off," he said.
"This tournament brought more media to cover this issue than we could have even hoped for, and hopefully, it will help initiate state and federal funding such as low interest loans to give the industry the small boost it needs."
 
"This problem was not manufactured by Kentuckians, but it is us who need to attack it now, before the Asian carp cause insurmountable harm to our aquatic resources," Brooks concluded.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Seth Stewart
Photo provided by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Endowment Partners with Cheri for Free Screenings of Unique Film

MURRAY, Ky. (3/1/15) — On Thursday, March 26, audiences in Murray can attend free screenings of “Alive Inside” at Cheri… Read More

Marshall County among Work Ready in Progress

FRANKFORT, Ky. (3/2/15) — Governor Steve Beshear today announced that Fleming County has been certified as a Kentucky… Read More

Most Read This Week

March 02, 2015 8459

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 25, 2015 7862

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 7663

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 7517

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 25, 2015 6225

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 23, 2015 5478

Fire Departments Respond to Wester's Body Shop

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Shawn Freels

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 09, 2015

Police Pursue Man after Fight at Taco Bell

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 02, 2015 8459

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 02, 2015 3202

HCSO, MPD Join to Bust Alleged Drug Trafficking…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
March 03, 2015 2656

Three Arrested during Traffic Stop

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 02, 2015 2295

Officers Respond to Complaint of Drug Use; Arrest…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 02, 2015 1870

Job Fair Tomorrow in Madisonville

in Hopkins News by Kentucky Career Center
March 02, 2015 1712

UPDATE: Escapee Apprehended

in Top News For All Sites by Stu Recke
March 02, 2015 1609

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 2, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
March 02, 2015 1365

Locals Flock to Yoga for Unique Wellness Technique

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 02, 2015 1356

Dawson Springs Man Charged Multiple Offenses Plus…

in Hopkins News by Melissa Heflin
March 02, 2015 1262

Greenville Police Department Reports Released;…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Wes Miller