Businesses hurt by Asian carp looking to profit

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Jason Thomason

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. - At Mann's Fish Market, catfish is the money maker. But Barry Man says Asian carp have also made him money. He won $10,000 in a recent tournament.

He caught 28,000 pounds in just two days.

"I don't believe we touched them. I believe it's like going to Land Between the Lakes and picking a leaf up, there's that many out there," he said of his success.

But, as it turns out, that is what is going to cost him money. Paul Rister, with Kentucky Fish & Wildlife, says the Asian carp are eating their way through the profits of locals.

"If these Asian carp are feeding on all the plankton, they're basically eating the bottom of the food chain from all the other fish."

Fish, he says, end up at only half their normal size.

Now, Barry Mann is trying to find buyers for Asian carp. He is reaching out to other markets out of state, even fertilizer and pet food companies.

The demand, he says, is there,"We got a phone call the other day, from a guy that still wants 'em."

But for now, the price is not worth the cost of labor. Mann is being offered just 7-cents a pound.

Mann says he cannot give up because his business depends on it, "It's going to get worse before it gets better."

For their part, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife are doing all they can to reduce the Asian carp population. In addition to loosening regulations on carp fishing, the Department tells us they will hold a second tournament this fall or winter.

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