First Asian Carp tournament held in Kentucky Tuesday

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Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - David Dycus
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. - Kentucky wildlife officials use competition to battle a troublesome fish.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Director Ron Brooks created a tournament designed to curb the Asian Carp population.  Tuesday's event is the first of its kind in the United States.  And he did it all on his own.

Brooks received no federal funding for the event and didn't have much luck getting sponsors.

That's not all.

Seven of the registered fishermen dropped out of the tournament.

That left tons and tons of Asian Carp for the remaining fishermen.

19-year-old Shawn Wallace is one of the fishermen trying to save Kentucky's waterways.

"When I was nine or ten-year-old, I had never see these things," Wallace said.  Not he can't get away from them.

That's something hobbyist fisherman Mac Kavanaugh knows all too well.

"They just hit you broadside.  It's not fun," Kavanaugh said.

But Tuesday, the Asian Carp played the part of prey, not predator.  Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Director Ron Brooks says the tournament isn't only about fighting the Asian Carp, but also educating people about them.

"What's more important is that we get people to understand we need to establish this industry," Brooks said.  "There's plenty of markets out there for Asian Carp.  What we don't have is the infrastructure to support it."

Brooks also says no one knows how Asian Carp tastes because people simply can't buy it anywhere nearby.  If you catch one and want to cook it, be ready to throw a lot away.  A 20-pound Asian Carp usually nets about three-pounds of meat.

If you would like to learn how to prepare Asian Carp, click here.

Processing plants get the tournament's catch.

The fishermen are competing for the grand price of $10,000.  That goes to the team that gets the most poundage.  The four remaining top teams get to divide $10,000.

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