Working alongside local anglers and political leaders in western Kentucky, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just gave a shot in the arm to the fight against invasive Asian carp that have proliferated in Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and other regional waters of Kentucky and Tennessee.
McConnell secured a provision in the Senate Interior Appropriations Bill to direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to focus its efforts on combatting the carp in Kentucky and Barkley, and to provide $11 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to control Asian carp in both lakes and the larger Mississippi and Ohio River basins. The Appropriations Bill still needs to be approved by the full Senate.
Here’s a release that was sent out today, describing the provision in full:
McConnell Provision to Combat Spread of Asian Carp in Kentucky Clears First Hurdle
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch 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 in Western Kentucky. Senator McConnell, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured the provision in the Interior Appropriations Bill that has passed the Committee and now must be approved by the full Senate.
Senator McConnell’s language directs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to focus its efforts on combatting the serious threat of Asian Carp in both Kentucky lakes. The legislation also provides $11 million dollars — a $600,000 increase from last year’s enacted level — for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to control Asian Carp in both lakes and the larger Mississippi and Ohio River Basins.
“Fishing is a multi-billion dollar industry in Kentucky, pumping an estimated $1.2 billion into the Western Kentucky economy alone. Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley are popular fishing areas that are being threatened by the existence and the spread of Asian Carp, and we must protect them. Not only are these fish a danger for the local economy, they are also a safety hazard for anglers and boaters,”Senator McConnell said. “There are a number of important priorities that come before the Senate, but as Senate Majority Leader, I am able to bring a national focus right here to Western Kentucky to protect our vital interests.”
McConnell added, “I was proud to work with Lyon County Judge/Executive Wade White who continues to be a leader on this issue in the community. I also appreciate Marshall County Judge/Executive Kevin Neal and his staff for relaying their concerns regarding the spread of Asian Carp in the area. I will continue to work closely with them and other community leaders as we move this legislation through Congress.”
“Asian Carp have invaded Kentucky and Barkley Lakes and put our fishing and tourism industries in jeopardy. We must take action and solve this problem. I greatly appreciate Senator Mitch McConnell, as Senate Majority Leader, helping us solve this urgent problem by specifically protecting these lakes in the government funding legislation,”said Lyon County Judge/Executive Wade White. “This is a very important first step for Kentucky and Tennessee, and it can become a model for other states to follow. I look forward to working closely with Senator McConnell over the coming months as we defend these vital waters.”
“Marshall County recognizes the importance of controlling the population of Asian Carp in its waterways including Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and the Ohio River. We greatly appreciate that Senator McConnell has brought national attention to these Kentucky waters in the Interior Appropriations Bill to help control Asian Carp in the Mississippi River and Ohio River Basins,”said Marshall County Judge/Executive Kevin Neal. “We are encouraged by Senator McConnell’s support, and we look forward to working together with him on future projects to control Asian Carp in our waterways so our citizens can enjoy our community’s pristine natural resources.”
Concerned local citizens launch Facebook page, planning meeting with Congressman Comer
“War on Carp” is an accurate description for the effort that local anglers and politicians plan to mount against invasive Asian carp in Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley and the surrounding waters. Thus, it’s an appropriate name for a Facebook page and group that recently organized in Kentucky and Tennessee.
On July 27 at 2 p.m. CT, concerned citizens interested in learning more about what can be done, and what is being planned, can participate in an official congressional hearing conducted by Congressman James Comer at the Lyon Convention Center, 309 Lee S. Jones Park Drive in Eddyville, Ky.
Organizers are asking members of the fishing community to attend the hearing, and also to write Congressman Comer in advance of the meeting, showing support to reduce Asian carp and have it officially entered into the Congressional Hearing Record.
To have your letter of support entered into the official Hearing Record, direct it to Congressman Comer with your Full name and address, and send it via email to [email protected]. You can also mail it directly to Lyon County Judge Executive Wade White, P. O. Box 598, Eddyville, KY 42038. The deadline to submit a letter of support is July 23, 2018.
A website, WarOnCarp.com, is in the works, but for now interested parties can stay up to speed at Facebook.com/waroncarp. Or contact Lyon County Judge Executive Wade White at 270.388.7311, or by email at [email protected].
Here’s a message from the group:
It’s time to take action to dramatically reduce Asian carp in Kentucky and Tennessee, and later in other states. The Tennessee and Cumberland rivers and reservoirs are inundated with Asian Carp. Fishing, boating and major tourism attractions in Kentucky and Barkley lakes are already being negatively impacted.
Congressman James Comer is supporting our effort to request money from Congress specifically for Kentucky and Tennessee. Our goal is to dramatically reduce carp in our waters by subsidizing the price per pound for Asian carp and to provide ice and transportation to markets from the lake for commercial fishermen. We plan to conduct more research to find better ways to remove carp as well as test and possibly purchase acoustic barrier systems to deter carp from moving farther up river systems through our dams. We succeed if we all do this together.