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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

PAHRANAGAT NWR: "What Ya Fishing For?"

Region 8, June 6, 2013
Chig Foley cooking carp cakes
Chig Foley cooking carp cakes - Photo Credit: n/a
Kevin DesRobers and Joanna Baca
Kevin DesRobers and Joanna Baca - Photo Credit: n/a
Member of troop 903
Member of troop 903 - Photo Credit: n/a
The Upper Lake dike nearly filled with participants
The Upper Lake dike nearly filled with participants - Photo Credit: n/a

By Tim Parker

On most weekends, visitors to Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge can be found lazily casting into the tranquil waters of the North Marsh, in the hopes of reeling in largemouth bass or catfish. But the fish of choice on Saturday, April 20 was carp, a non-native whose bottom feeding habits cloud lakes and ponds.

As part of a habitat restoration project, 72 visitors from the Pahranagat Valley and greater Las Vegas area, ventured onto the refuge to help catch these fish and compete for prizes from Sportsman’s Warehouse. The largest catch of the day was 3.35 pound fish, and a total of 28 fish were caught.

Fishing wasn’t the only activity of the day. A craft table as available where children and many adults created colorful fish prints. At a reptile display, visitors caught a glimpse of chuckwalla, California king snake, and desert tortoise. “Oooh’s” and “Ah’s” could also be heard from the Carp Cookery tent where two volunteers created sumptuous dishes. While carp is not commonly consumed in the United States, in Europe the fish is considered a prized catch and served at fine dining establishments. In the mid-19th century the fish was brought to this country to be a food source, and it is hoped that with a little education and encouragement, fisherman will once again cast their lines for this fish and help remove them from the habitat.

A big thanks goes to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Southern Nevada Agency Partnership, Nevada Naturalist, Friends of the Desert National Wildlife Complex, and Sportsman’s Warehouse for making this year’s Carp Rodeo a success.

- FWS -

Tim Parker is a Visitor Services Specialist at Pahranagat and Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuges.

 

Contact Info: Pam Bierce, 916-414-6542, pamela_bierce@fws.gov