State considers entrepreneurial solutions for Asian carp problem

Published 11:24 pm Thursday, July 20, 2017

Special to the Sun

Asian carp swim by the millions in Kentucky’s waterways, threatening to crowd out native fish in some of the state’s most cherished fishing destinations – including Kentucky and Barkley lakes in the west.

With an absence of predators and little natural controls available for these invasive species, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the state Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are seeking public input on a plan to limit the explosive growth of Asian carp populations while providing a valuable protein source for people.

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State officials will evaluate a potential public/private partnership to boost the emerging Asian carp fish processing business in Kentucky. State support of entrepreneurs could include hiring commercial anglers and rental of necessary equipment; supplying freezer space in warehouses; purchasing catches during low demand times; and cash incentives, among other potential solutions.

The goal of the proposal is to remove millions of pounds of Asian carp from Kentucky’s waterways each year while helping to provide the infrastructure necessary to establish a long-lasting fish processing industry.

Before state officials seek private partnership, however, they are seeking public input through a request for information process. This includes a questionnaire about the business and suggested models.

Those wishing to provide input on the proposal may do so in person later this month or submit written comments.

Full details on the information request may be found on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website, Look for the “Asian Carp Project” tab under the “Important Information” section.

For those wishing to provide information in person, Cabinet and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife representatives will schedule 45-minute meetings on the topic at Kentucky Dam Village State Park in Gilbertsville, Ky. Meetings will begin at 8:30 a.m. (Central time) July 27. Email Chris Reece at to reserve a meeting time.

Those preferring to send written comments may download the questionnaire from the department website. All responses must be received no later than 4 p.m. (Eastern time) Aug. 3.