Silver Fin Solutions and the 2020 USGS Modified Unified Method of Harvesting Invasive Carp
Updated: Aug 31
In February 2020, SFS volunteered several staff and various equipment to assist the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey USGS) with the Kentucky Lake Modified Unified Method (MUM) invasive carp harvest research project. The project was spearheaded by the USGS, and our role was to provide large equipment able to harvest hundreds of thousands of pounds of invasive carp if the MUM was as successful as it had been in more natural lakes in Missouri and Illinois. SFS agreed to voluntarily remove and dispose of all harvested fish and donated the fish for compost research.
KDFWR provided SFS use of their Wildlife Division's barge that carried the fish pump and generator, and KDFWR leased a track hoe for handling the large pump hose and a braille net used when the pump was not needed. In 2020, SFS received no funding from agencies for their equipment, fuel, lodging, meals, or transportation costs.
Silver Fin’s fish pump was featured at the large February media event held at Pisgah Bay during the 2020 MUM. The event included a fish harvest demonstration and was attended by Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, who was an essential part of getting the USGS to come to Kentucky Lake in 2020. The Senator was also a key figure in Congress towards amending WRRDA to provide at least 25 million dollars for Kentucky and other Mississippi River basin states’ efforts to combat invasive carp, and additional funds that have been put in recent budgets as well. The event was also attended by Kentucky’s Governor Beshear and the Tourism Arts and Heritage Cabinet Commissioner. leadership from KDFWR, USGS, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also attended.
SFS' Frying Pan transported a little over 80,000 pounds of harvested fish to either Hillmans Ferry or Moors Marina where our skid steer was used to move the fish to trucks waiting to take them to a compost research operation. It was also used to move USGS' large block nets and seines from Smith Bay to Pisgah Bay.
The 2020 MUM experience was valuable to SFS since it offered insight to equipment needed to work large harvest research projects and ideas for improving the USGS MUM harvest technique.