Large numbers of Asian carp continue to inhabit our two largest reservoirs. The fish need to be removed, and it will take funding assistance from the private sector to help the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources make that happen. The first “Carp Madness” commercial fishing tournament was a huge success in several ways: 1) A few commercial fishermen proved they could harvest 42 tons of Asian carp in two days and target them so that other fish were minimally impacted; 2) The Department received calls from many prospective businesses interested in harvesting Asian carp from the two reservoirs; and 3) the public across North America saw, for the first time, the extent of the Asian carp problem that exists beyond the Illinois River.
More Asian carp need to be removed from Kentucky and Barkley lakes. Left unchecked, the nuisance carps will reduce the quality of fishing and become a major hazard for boaters and skiers who may be injured by jumping silver carp; just as they have in the Illinois. We need help to keep this from happening to our two most economically important reservoirs in Western Kentucky.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to work with the private sector to build upon the success of “Carp Madness” and quickly remove many more tons of Asian carp from the two reservoirs. The first tournament was funded by this Department with non-federal money generated from sales of licenses and permits and with donations from organizations such as the League of Kentucky Sportsmen ($5,000). Regulations prohibit us from using federal Sportfish Restoration Act funds to remove invasive species and we do not receive funds from general tax dollars; therefore, the department has insufficient funds to sponsor another tournament. So we are reaching out to area businesses, fishing clubs, and individuals to help fund “Carp Madness 2!!” through sponsorships or donations. If you want to be a sponsor, we are asking for pledges until it becomes apparent that sufficient funding will be raised for the tournament. Sponsorship pledges can be made by contacting KDFWR by email (Amy.Akers@ky.gov) or phone (502-564-7109 ext. 4527). If you would rather just donate to a fund that will either be used to help fund the tournament of for other Asian carp projects, you may go to the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s website listed. The Foundation is a non-profit organization that often works with KDFWR, and the donations are tax deductible! The donation amount is up to you (http://www.kentuckywildlife.com/Donate.aspx).
KDFWR will acknowledge sponsors or donations ($500 and up) on our website prior to, during and after the tournament. Sponsors will also be allowed to provide booths and/or banners at the tournament site where the various media will be holding interviews. This Department reserves the right to reject any donations or sponsorships that are in conflict with the department’s goals, mission, values or that exceed our requirements.