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KFWR Planning Chemical Fishkill at Carpenter Lake


Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources officials are administering chemicals to a Daviess County lake next week to eradicate an abundance of gizzard shad.

The native fish species are found more often in large lakes but the state bans their use as bait fish.

Kentucky Afield editor Dave Baker says when the gizzard shad is introduced to small bodies of water, like Carpenter Lake, their overpopulation can cause a serious effect on other fish populations.

"Shad are very prolific, they breed like aquatic rabbits," said Baker. "And if you get too many shad in there, the bass say "mmm, let's not eat bluegill, let's go ahead and eat shad because it's tastier.' What happens then is that the bluegill overpopulate becoming stunted and very small. After awhile, the shad get so big and so populous that they out-compete the young bass for food. As a result you get  young bass that become stunted themselves. Everybody wants to fish for good bass and bluegill and all of a sudden the populations have just plummeted because of the introduction of shad." 

KFWR biologist Rob Rold says gizzard shad can cause serious ecological damage when introduced into small bodies of water, like Carpenter Lake.  He says the chemical being used, rotenone, isn’t harmful to humans or terrestrial wildlife and will have minimal effect or the water’s sportfish.

“Now, is there any non-target mortality? Yeah, there’s gonna be," said Rold. "Rotenone, the chemical, is toxic to all fish. But, shad are much more susceptible to it than are bass, catfish, bluegill and other species.” 

The KFWR will start spraying the chemical Monday.   

Rob Canning is a native of Murray, KY, a 2015 TV Production grad of Murray State. At MSU, he served as team captain of the Murray State Rowing Club. Rob's goal is to become a screenwriter, film director or producer and looks to the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie for inspiration. He appreciates good music, mainly favoring British rock n' roll, and approves of anything with Jack White's name on it. When not studying, rowing or writing, Rob enjoys spending his free time with a book or guitar.
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