A provision in the U.S. Senate Interior Appropriations bill includes increased funding to combat the spread of Asian Carp in both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in Western Kentucky.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured the provision in the Interior Appropriations Bill that has passed the Committee.
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, 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 as well as 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,” McConnell said. “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 th”ese fish a danger for the local economy, they are also a safety hazard for anglers and boaters.”
Lyon County Judge-Executive Wade White called it an important first step for Kentucky and Tennessee and a “model for other states to follow.”
The Asian Carp invasion, he said, has put the “fishing and tourism industries in jeopardy. We must take action and solve this problem.”
“Marshall County recognizes the importance of controlling the population of Asian Carp in its waterways including Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and the Ohio River,” said Marshall County Judge-Executive Kevin Neal.
Neal and White said they appreciated McConnell’s support and look forward to future projects in controlling Asian Carp on the waterways.
The Interior Appropriations Bill now heads to the full Senate.