6:17am

Mon May 30, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Meeting On Asian Carp Tuesday

Officials with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will hold a public meeting this week in western Kentucky to talk about the growing problem with Asian Carp in some of the state’s lakes, rivers and tributaries.

State Fisheries Director Ron Brooks says two species of the Asian Carp have infiltrated areas of the state from the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and are out-competing natives species for food.

“I always give out the analogy of sheep in a cattle ranch. You get too many grazers on there and they’re going to overgraze your food supply. And that’s what these things do, they take away the Phytoplankton and Zooplankton, which is what every other species needs at some point of their life,” he said.

Certain species of Asian Carp were introduced in the U.S. years ago to help clear plankton from catfish ponds, but migrated into the wild in floodwaters.

Brooks says there’s a high demand for Asian Carp from U.S. waters in the Chinese food market. He supports a plan to allow commercial fishing of Asian Carp in Kentucky and Barkley lakes, but that idea has drawn resistance from recreation and sport fishing interests.

The public meeting is tomorrow evening at 7:00 (CST) at Kentucky Dam Village.