A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Asian carp invasion and the war to rid Ky. waterways of these nuisance species

Of all the invasive, non-native species that have made their way to North America from China, none is more egregious than the Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and the Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix). Their impact is severe and far-reaching. These so-called Asian carp were originally imported by Arkansas fish farmers in the 1970s to control plankton in rearing ponds and provide fresh...

Experimental Asian carp harvest method to be employed at Kentucky Lake during February

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...

Bio-acoustic fish fence aimed at stopping Asian carp migration now operational at Lake Barkley

An experimental project designed to keep invasive Asian carp from moving farther up the Cumberland River was unveiled Friday at Lake Barkley. A bio-acoustic fish fence (BAFF) was deployed on the downstream side of Barkley Lock. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and U.S. Congressman James Comer along with project partners, ceremonially inaugurated the BAFF system as part of a three-year evaluation to deter...

Protective zone implemented below Lake Barkley lock as officials test barrier to restrict Asian carp

The lock chamber of the Lake Barkley tailwater in Western Kentucky has closed to fishing, bow fishing and boat anchoring in order to protect an experimental barrier being installed to block the movement of Asian carp into the lake. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is one of several agencies and partners involved with an extensive research project to investigate the effectiveness...

Watch for flags on Kentucky, Barkley lakes; new markers warn boaters of commercial fishing net locations

Commercial anglers on Kentucky and Barkley lakes are deploying indicator flags to mark the locations of their nets. “We want to make anglers and recreational boaters aware of ongoing commercial angling and net locations,” said Jessica Morris, fisheries biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “These bright yellow flags are visible for a mile. While nets are generally...

Experimental device could block Asian carp from entering Lake Barkley; construction now underway

An experimental project designed to deter Asian carp from entering Lake Barkley in Western Kentucky is now underway. If weather conditions remain stable, the project is scheduled to become operational by fall. “We’re anxious to get this test underway because it has the potential to be a real game changer in the battle against Asian carp,” said Ron Brooks, director of fisheries for the Kentucky...

Rural Blog: McConnell touts efforts to manage Asian carp, including corraling and electroshock harvesting

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whom The Economist dubbed one of the 100 most important people in the world, has many concerns, from dealing with President Trump to keeping a Republican majority in the Senate next year. But he spent much of a day last week talking about fish. And that is likely to be part of his re-election campaign in Kentucky. McConnell’s efforts to keep invasive, voracious...

Anglers can learn latest about sport fishing, Asian carp in Western Kentucky at April 21 public meeting

Learn more about efforts to combat Asian carp and the state of fishing in Western Kentucky during a Town Hall meeting set for 7-9 p.m. (Central) March 21 at the Lyon Convention Center in Eddyville. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources holds these public meetings annually to keep residents updated on fisheries-related topics. All interested persons are welcome to attend. (Photo from...

Officials discover juvenile Black Carp in Western Kentucky confirming invasive species in reproducing

A juvenile black carp has been discovered in Ballard County, according to the Fisheries Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The fish, a member of the invasive Asian carp species, came from Gar Creek near the Ohio River. “Assuming this fish was spawned locally, it provides further evidence that black carp are becoming more established in the lower Ohio River drainage...

Governor Bevin announces first-ever fish house contract to combat Asian carp in Western Kentucky

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today New initiatives to solve the Asian carp situation in western Kentucky were unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Matt Bevin at a press conference. Bevin announced the award of the state’s first-ever fish house contract. Kentucky Fish Center, LLC of Wickliffe, Ky., will establish the fish house, which will expand the market for Kentucky-caught Asian carp. Angie Yu, operator of Two...

Potential Asian carp deterrent — an underwater wall of sound — to be tested below Barkley Dam

Asian carp have become a major concern in the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers and many other rivers within the Mississippi River basin. In Western Kentucky, two of the state’s largest reservoirs, Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, were formed by the construction of navigation dams on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, respectively. The lock systems of these dams are the primary sources of reservoir...

State Fish and Wildlife Department seeking input on entrepreneurial solutions for Asian carp problem

Asian carp swim by the millions in Kentucky’s waterways, threatening to crowd out native fish in some of the state’s most cherished fishing destinations – including Kentucky and Barkley lakes in the west. With an absence of predators and little natural controls available for these invasive species, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the state Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet...

State Fish and Wildlife Commission urged to increase boat registration fees to battle Asian carp

Kentucky needs more funding to combat the spread of invasive Asian carp in the state’s waterways. To help fund this need, members of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Administration, Education and Policy Committee have recommended that the full commission consider increasing Kentucky boat registration fees at its March 17 meeting. The recommendation does not include fees on paddlecraft...

Carp Blitz: State organizing event at Kentucky, Barkley lakes to gauge population of Asian carp

State and federal agencies, working in cooperation with volunteers, commercial anglers and fish processors, are launching a “Carp Blitz” on Nov. 8-10 to help gauge the population of invasive Asian carp in Kentucky and Barkley lakes. At least a dozen sampling crews will be netting, electrofishing and working with licensed commercial anglers to collect as many Asian carp as possible during this three-day...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky, six other states partner with feds to battle Asian carp

  Bighead and silver carp consume zooplankton and phytoplankton, and other microscopic organisms, stripping the aquatic food web of the key source of food for native fish. Averaging 30 to 40 pounds, some Asian carp can grow to be over 100 pounds. An Asian carp is capable of eating 5 to 20 percent of its body weight each day. (Photo by Brenna Hernandez)   On June 30 it was announced that the...

Asian carp, beware! New Western Kentucky plant will catch, clean, process invasive fish

Two Asian carp species of concern include bighead carp and silver carp. (Photo from Kentucky Fish & Wildlife)   Riverine Fisheries International plans to build a fish processing operation in Fulton County in Western Kentucky to catch, clean, process, package and transport various species of invasive Asian carp found in Kentucky’s waters, Gov. Steve Beshear announced. In the process, the...

Asian carp die-off last month likely caused
by condition similar to ‘the bends’ in divers

Dead silver carp in Lake Barkley tailwaters (Photo by Paul Rister)   Research indicates a condition similar to “the bends” in divers likely played a role in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Asian carp in two western Kentucky rivers last month.   The die-off of invasive silver carp happened in the Cumberland River below Lake Barkley dam and Tennessee River below Kentucky...

Asian carp die-off last month likely caused by condition similar to ‘the bends’ in divers

Dead silver carp in Lake Barkley tailwaters (Photo by Paul Rister)   Research indicates a condition similar to “the bends” in divers likely played a role in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Asian carp in two western Kentucky rivers last month.   The die-off of invasive silver carp happened in the Cumberland River below Lake Barkley dam and Tennessee River below Kentucky...

Worst of Asian carp fish kill over; experts say half-million dead in largest carp die-off in U.S.

The worst of a fish kill that has claimed upward of a half-million Asian carp in the Cumberland River below Lake Barkley dam is believed to be over.   This past Friday, fisheries biologists with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources returned to the area as the focus shifted to learning what might have caused the considerable die-off of invasive silver carp.   “Anglers...

Two Kentucky lakes now home to fewer
Asian carp – nearly 83,000 pounds worth

Asian carp species of concern include bighead carp, silver carp and black carp. (Photo from Kentucky Fish & Wildlife)   Carp Madness Fishing Tournament contestants removed 82,953 pounds of Asian carp from Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Western Kentucky March 12 and 13.   Twenty-one teams of commercial anglers competed in the contest designed to corral the growing population of Asian carp...