Help needed for carp removal project

Published: Tuesday, May 6 2014 2:15 p.m. MDT

Biologists from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are asking anglers and bow hunters to help them remove destructive carp from Pelican Lake in Uintah County.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Biologists from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are asking anglers and bow hunters to help them remove destructive carp from Pelican Lake in Uintah County.

The removal project will happen May 15, weather permitting.

Trina Hedrick, regional aquatic manager for the DWR, says the agency has committed shocking boats, nets and traps to the effort.

"We're hoping anglers and bow hunters can bring their boats and equipment to help us out," she said. "If you can't make it on May 15, please try to visit Pelican Lake at some point this year. To restore the bluegill populations, carp need to be removed throughout the year."

The staging area will be at the main Bureau of Land Management boat ramp on the southwest corner of the lake. Activities start at 9 a.m. with a short introduction and general instructions.

In 2009 and 2010, changes in management upstream flushed many carp into Pelican Lake. The carp have flourished in their new home, but officials say their feeding habits and breeding potential are hindering the productivity of the lake.

Hedrick says carp compete directly with bluegill and small bass for food.

"They are notorious for rooting up vegetation as they look for macroinvertebrates and insects in and around the plants," she said. "These food sources are extremely important for young bluegill. In addition, carp will consume large zooplankters (small, free-swimming/floating animals) that are important for adequate growth in larger bluegill."

The rooting the carp do also stirs up the mud. Stirring up the mud cuts down on visibility and the distance sunlight can penetrate into the water.

Those who can help will be considered a DWR volunteer for the day and will need to sign in. For more information, call the DWR Northeastern Region office at 435-781-9453.

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