WHAS11's iTeam investigator John Charlton takes a look at the invasive species of fish that's a threat to boaters, fishermen and the ecosystem of our waterways including the Ohio River in Louisville. WHAS
KENTUCKY LAKE (WHAS11) — With the sun out and the water warming up, we are hitting the boating season.
However, that comes with the threat of getting hit in the head by very big flying fish.
The state has issued warnings to boaters, water skiers, and tubers.
Silver Carp, or Asian Carp, are flourishing in the Ohio River and other summer hot spots, including Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.
A recent fish survey by state and federal fisheries biologists on Kentucky Lake found that the carp are spawning, growing, and expanding in numbers.
Asian Carp by the schools often get spooked out the water by boat engines.
Able to grow upwards of four feet, and weigh well over 30 pounds, the fish fly through the air and can do damage to people and boats.
“These things break bones,” Ron Books, the Director of Fisheries with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, said.
Wyatt Doyle, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fishery biologist added, “I know biologists that have been knocked out, had teeth knocked out.”
Outside of bodily injury, Asian Carp also threaten the state tourism industry.
“It only has to happen one or two times when you're going to say I’m not going there anymore,” Brooks pointed out.
The invasive species is also pushing out native fish by out-eating and out-reproducing them.
“We are going to have to do a whole lot to be able to control these things,” Brooks said.