KY Fish and Wildlife educating public on Asian Carp netting program

Each week, fishermen spend hours on Kentucky Lake hauling in Asian Carp.

Ronny Hopkins buys the fish and said these men are making inroads to decrease the population, but sport fishermen may not fully understand what commercial fishermen are doing.

“We’re having to ramp up to do more to deplete the population of the Asian Carp, but yet work it in harmony with the sport fishing,” Hopkins told Local 6.

Hopkins said many nets are found floating on the surface – some, he suspects, are cut on purpose because recreational boaters are unaware of unrestricted Asian Carp netting.  “Instead of running through them and going, zigzagging through them, if they would just go around them,” Hopkins urges the pubic.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife began the Asian Carp harvest program in 2011.  Commercial fishing season typically runs from November through March, but because of over-population, Neal Jackson said the state expanded the Asian Carp season year-round.

“You can see the float line of the gill net on the surface.  When he set them, it wasn’t like that,” Jackson showed Local 6.

Jackson said most commercial fishermen do their work at night when it’s cooler.  Recreational boaters often call, thinking something illegal is going on.  He said the educating the public will benefit the $1 billion a year lake tourism industry.

“We want to protect the sport fishing here and the only way we have to do that right now is our commercial fisherman,” he said.

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