War On Carp Aims to Protect Fishing, Tourism
By Mike Cooper
WESTERN KENTUCKY - A local county Judge Executive has declared a war on carp to address an out of control problem.

Lyon County Judge Executive Wade White has started the project in hopes to bring attention to Kentucky and Tennessee waters of the Tennessee River, Cumberland River, Lake Barkley, and Kentucky Lake, specifically pointing out the problem with silver and big head carp. 

White told West Kentucky Star that the issue is now to the point that the fishing and tourism industries are in jeopardy. This is due to the fish eating small plankton and they have become so over populated, that other, smaller fish are left with little or no food. The fish can grow to over 100 pounds, and due to their jumping, many times they jump into boats and damage equipment. 

He said that it is hurting the bass fishing in the area, and also making it much harder to attract fishing tournaments. He added that local marinas are also feeling the problem.

White said that while the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency have good plans, they are much too small to be able to deal with this problem. As a result, the War on Carp has an approach to go beyond what these state agencies can do. 

The approach has two parts. First is to ask Congress for $50 million over the next 5 years, and second, a foundation has been set up that will accept private donations. The foundation is and anyone can give any amount.

The funds will be used to help commercial fishermen to be able to harvest the fish much quicker. White stated that the commercial fisherman have not been shown enough respect and while now they receive approximately 17 cents per pound, they need 25 to 30 cents per pound in order to be able to accomplish getting the fish out in a timely fashion. The funds will also be used to help the commercial fishermen with nets, ice, and transportation of the fish from the bank to the market. He indicated that if a fisherman has 2,000 pounds of fish, it will take 2,000 pounds of ice to properly transport the fish to market.

White also said that a sound barrier will be tested at Barkley Dam later this year, and if it is successful in keeping the carp from entering the locks, five of these barriers will be purchased for other dams with funds from this project.

Congressman James Comer will conduct an official Congressional Field Briefing dealing with the problem on Friday, July 27th at 2:00 pm. The briefing will be held at the Lyon Convention Center, located at 309 Lee S. Jones Park Drive in Eddyville. Judge Executive White encourages everyone to show their support by attending this hearing. Also, support can be shown by writing a letter. To have a support letter entered into the official hearing record, direct it to Congressman Comer with full name and address, explaining the reasons for the support of the project, and send it via e-mail to, or via US Mail to Wade White, Lyon County Judge Executive, Post Office Box 598-Eddyville, KY 42038. Judge White says the deadline to submit a letter of support is July 23rd.

Senator Mitch McConnell is also supporting this project. McConnell successfully secured a provision in the Senate Interior Appropriations bill to combat the spread of Asian carp in both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. He said that the economic impact to Western Kentucky of the fishing industry is estimated at $1.2 billion, and it is important to protect this because it is of vital interest to the area.

War on Carp has a Facebook page,, and will have a website operational in a few weeks. That website will be Judge Executive White encourages everyone to help with this project by sending letters of support, attending the Congressional Field Briefing in Eddyville on July 27th, and, if possible, making donations of any size to the foundation, He stresses that the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers and reservoirs are inundated with Asian carp and the problem must be dealt with now.

On the Net:

War on Carp Facebook Page
Carp Harvest Fund

Published 10:43 PM, Tuesday Jul. 10, 2018
Updated 05:46 AM, Thursday Jul. 12, 2018

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