Carp get a villainous status for invading bodies of water and out-competing native species. And it’s increasingly common to hold tournaments to kill carp to save trout, walleye, and various other popular species. Usually, protecting suckers is not on that list.
But in Utah Lake, the endangered June Sucker is under serious threat of becoming extinct, and the management plan is calling for millions of pounds of carp to be killed.
According to Outdoor Hub, the June Sucker Recovery Implementation Program was started in 2009 with the goal of boosting the sucker’s numbers in Utah Lake, the only body of water where they are found. In two full year, they have only removed 7 million pounds of carp from the lake, and officials are urging that another 40 million pounds need to be removed, and fast.
Bill Loy’s commercial fishing operation is leading the charge, and his company, and other operations, are trying to meet a target of removing 5 million carp a year, which, at 20 cents per pound, means about $1 million blood money for carp. According to Loy, every day they don’t capture 3,500, the carp gain ground in Utah Lake.
The project doesn’t stop until the 40 million pounds are killed, and if anglers can’t catch them fast enough, that pound goal might continue to grow.