The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will host a public meeting to discuss ways to limit the spread of Asian carp through a potential regulation change on the movement of live bait. This meeting is being held at the Kentucky Dam Village Convention Center in Gilbertsville at 7 p.m. (Central time) Monday, Dec. 3.

Asian carp, which include the silver carp and bighead carp species, have become major nuisances since their unintentional release along the Mississippi River several years ago. These nuisance fish have invaded several major Kentucky rivers and their tributaries, including the Ohio River. Asian carp also now inhabit the state’s two largest reservoirs.

Asian carp threaten native fish species because they can outcompete them for forage. Asian carp also threaten Kentucky’s ecological systems, recreational boaters, anglers, and the commercial and sport fishing industries. Asian carp are not only prolific, but they can adapt and live in almost any river or lake in Kentucky.

Asian carp can spread quickly if they are transported live and then used for food or live bait. Baitfish anglers who misidentify Asian carp as native shad or skipjack may unintentionally release these invaders into uninfected waters.

To reduce the potential for the unintentional spread of Asian carp, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is considering regulations that will restrict all movement of live Asian carp, regardless of how they are caught or collected. Additionally, to address the issue of misidentification, the restriction of movement of all live baitfish from the water in which they are caught or collected to any other water body is being considered.

These proposals are either already in regulation or are being proposed in other states where Asian carp are established. No regulation changes concerning live Asian carp or native baitfish collection and movement has been submitted by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officials at this time. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss these potential regulations with anglers interested in this issue.

Logo courtesy Kentucky Fish and Wildlife

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