12 to 15 Million Invasive Carp Removed from Lakes in Tennessee and Kentucky

by Michael Freeman

Carp are a dime a dozen, though it’s still satisfying to catch many of them in one trip. Tennessee and Kentucky anglers have been busy in that regard, fishing as many as 12 to 15 million of them out of state lakes in the past few years.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife reports since 2018, anglers have caught an incredible 12 to 15 million Asian carp from Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. Both of these lakes are on the line between Kentucky and Tennessee. While this may come off as a bad thing, this resulted from an effort to remove the invasive species from the area.

Lyon County Judge-Executive Wade White told The News-Enterprise about the endeavor. “The commercial fishermen have done a tremendous job,” he told the outlet. Wade also advocates using more resources removing the fish. Besides helping local wildlife thrive from the carp’s absence, he says fish processors can use the Asian carp for things like fish oil and fish meal.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) said the Asian carp originally were on fish farms in the 1980s and 90s. However, they quickly spread outward into natural waterways, causing ecological harm to the native fish there.

As such, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife crafted its own Invasive Carp Harvest Program. According to this, anglers can fish for the carp in previously restricted areas. The restricted areas include both Barkley and Kentucky Lakes. Additionally, the state has devised other means of removing the carp. One of these involves corralling the carp into bays with seines and block nets.

While they can’t completely eliminate the Asian carp, efforts so far have helped native fish fare better and even sparked tourist interest in the lakes.

Idaho Angler Aims for Bass and Instead Breaks State Record for Carp

Have you ever gone to the store for something and walked away with something even better? An Idaho angler had a similar experience after going bass fishing and ending up with a state record carp instead.

Fisherman Cris Endicott reeled the huge 50-inch carp in on October 10. Armed with a twin-tail bass jig on the Snake River, he set the state record for rod-and-reel grass carp. Funnily enough, Endicott broke the record on accident. The Department of Fish and Game in Idaho officially announced the record via a press release, noting he originally was bass fishing.

“The fish weighed 46.7 pounds, and measured 50-inches long, clinching a new certified weight state record,” the release stated. “Carp records are kept separately for rod/reel and archery anglers, and this fish surpasses the current 39.5-pound archery record set by Saige Wilkerson in 2012.”

Interestingly, the fish Cris Endicott snagged is not considered invasive, like the previously discussed variety