Story at a glance

  • Since 2018, fishermen have caught 12 to 15 million Asian carp from Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake.
  • Asian carp — which includes black, grass, bighead, and silver carps — were first introduced to fish farms in the southeastern United States in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
  • Since their introduction, the invasive Asian carp have made their way into natural waterways in several states, depleting the food supply of the native fish.

An invasive species of Asian fish has been caught in the millions from two U.S. lakes over the last few years.

Since 2018, fishermen have caught 12 to 15 million Asian carp from Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake, Lyon County Judge-Executive Wade White told The News-Enterprise, adding that the statistics were given to him by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

“The commercial fishermen have done a tremendous job,” said White, adding, “People are coming back to the lakes.”

Asian carp — which includes black, grass, bighead, and silver carps — were first introduced to fish farms in the southeastern United States in the ‘80s and ‘90s, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA)

Since their introduction, the invasive Asian carp have made their way into natural waterways in several states, including Kentucky and Tennessee, which line both Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. 


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In these waterways, the Asian carp have depleted the food supply of the native fish, destroying their habitat. The carp have also negatively impacted tourism in the area, as they tend to jump into tourists boats, according to White. 

However, the mass fishing of carp has slowly replenished the ecological balance in the waterways and even sparked interest among tourists. 

In Idaho, a man fishing for bass inadvertently hooked a carp on Oct. 10, breaking a record for the largest carp in the state.

“The fish weighed 46.7 pounds, and measured 50-inches long,” the press release stated, “clinching a new certified weight state record.”


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Published on Nov 04, 2021