Ron Brooks, director of fisheries for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources www.fw.ky.gov, didn’t get the 100 tons of Asian carp he wanted from Tuesday and Wednesday’s department sponsored “Carp Madness” commercial carp tournament on Kentucky’s Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake.
Mainly Brooks (pictured) got media attention to focus on the damage Asian carp can pose to a sport fishery and he made some inroads in demonstrating that commercial markets for Asian carp can and do exist for the fish.
Twenty-one commercial fishermen had signed up for the event but only 15 teams fished. Barry Mann walked away the $10,000 first place check by delivering a two-day weight of 28,669 pounds of carp. Heath Frailley was second with 22,005 pounds. That earned him $4,000.
They were astounding weights, given the less-than-ideal weather conditions. Temperatures barely touched the 40s and a stiff north/northwest wind kept fishermen off the main lakes, limiting anglers to bays and shore areas that afforded some wind protection.
The total tournament weight was 82,953 pounds, or about 41 1/2 tons.
After being weighed on a commercial scale (pictured) the carp were loaded into trailers and iced to be shipped to processors in Illinois and Mississippi.
One other thing came to light during the two days of Carp Madness: Commercial fishermen are some of the hardest working guys on the planet.