Saturday, March 13, 2004

It's not a problem, it's an opportunity!

Great flying carp! Fish a threat to boaters, skiers
Remember these Asian fish species: silver carp and bighead carp.

You will likely hear their names many times as Kentucky and neighboring states try to prevent the two invasive species from destroying sport and commercial fisheries, and endangering recreational boaters and water skiers.

If you are boating or skiing on the Ohio or Mississippi Rivers, in their backwater lakes or in many of their tributaries, you may see silver carp jumping several feet out of the water, or even into your boat.

Some fishermen in Western Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois have resorted to using garbage can lids, lawn chairs and other homemade shields to ward off the torpedo-shaped fish while their boats are moving.
Yeehaw! I'd be tempted to say you need someone in the bow with a baseball bat, but these suckers are big.
One fisherman was running up behind an island over here at 15 (to) 20 miles an hour, and about a 40-pounder jumped out and hit him right in the chest," said commercial fisherman Ronny Hopkins of Compliance Fish and Caviar in Livingston County, Ky. "He was down for two weeks. If he hadn't been sitting in a tractor seat with a solid back, it would have knocked him out of the boat."

Hopkins said he has had as many as 15 to 20 silver carp jump into his boat while running commercial nets, and various reliable accounts suggest that the silver carp, the most likely to jump, can rise 8 to 10 feet out of the water.

"They react to a boat and just go wild," said Benjy Kinman, the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife director of fisheries. "If somebody bangs something or stomps on the floor of an aluminum boat — if they're up in a little creek mouth or something — they'll all jump out of the water like popcorn."
Hmmm, why not think of it like skeet shooting? Pull!