Federal help potentially coming to help fight the War On Carp

LYON COUNTY, KY- The war on Asian Carp is nowhere close to being over. Lyon County Judge Executive Wade White just returned from Washington D.C. and says help could be on its way.

During that trip, White requested 12 million dollars in funding. White says that money will go toward Asian Carp barriers at nine different hot spots on the lake, subsidies for fisherman, and research on carp control methods. Also in the works – a change to fishing restrictions that would allow commercial fisherman to fish on the weekends to help catch more Asian Carp. Current regulations restrict them from doing that.

Ronny Hopkins says fishing is his way of life. “I’ve done different things, but I’ve been around commercial fishing all my life,” Hopkins said.

He’s says he’s seen a lot of change over the years especially from the growth of Asian Carp. “We see them when we’re out there fishing, but it’s a challenge and the market isn’t really doing anything to help the fishermen,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins says so far this year, they’ve caught more than 700,000 pounds of Asian Carp. He also says potential changes in fishing regulations could help commercial fishermen but there are some safety concerns.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking to change regulations by allowing commercial fishermen to fish on the weekends year-round. That’s more opportunities to get carp out of the water.

White says while fishermen are concerned about safety when the public is out on the water, it’s worth it.

“We just need to take our time more than we usually do while we get these things under control and allow the commercial fishermen to do what they need to do. We want people to come here, we want people to continue to have a great time, but just be aware of your surroundings, there could be some nets,” White said.

Hopkins says he knows what they’re doing is ultimately helping their community.

“Every fisherman is at war with Asian Carp because they have taken away our livelihood,” Hopkins said.

These small victories are one step closer to getting Asian Carp under control.

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