Commercial fisherman and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Officers like Neal Jackson say working to contain and even stop the spread of Asian Carp has become a full time job. So far, Jackson believes the carp are not creating die-offs of other fish, but it's likely and it could have negative effects down the road.
"We haven't seen direct impacts yet. But, we don't know when that is going to happen and that's why it's important for us to act now," he said.
For the next two years the state plans to tag and track the species. A $60,000 grant will pay for small transmitters to be implanted in the carp's bellies. Receivers will then attach to bridge piers to monitor their movement. "Each fish has a unique number and so we go download the data from the passive receiver," Jackson told Local 6.
Once the fish are caught, they are taken to processing facilities like this one, Fin Gourmet, in Paducah. Manager Amanda Smith said there is growing interest domestically.
"We are delivering to many different states and we have many consumers coming in asking for our product," Smith said.
Smith said there has not been a day fishermen have not brought in carp - a clear indicator Jackson says of the need to not only track them, but make money off them. "The more these small processing plants the more fish are coming out of the water," Jackson said.
Jackson plans to start tagging and tracking the carp early next year.
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