Carp wear out welcome in Utah Lake

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jan 21, 2014

UTAH COUNTY -- It wasn't a typical day of fishing at Utah Lake Tuesday.

"We're here at Utah lake getting the carp out that seem to turn our beautiful community, Utah Lake, into a brown dumping ground," said Rebecca Call, Governing Board Member of Utah Lake Commission.

Three years ago more than 30 million pounds of carp crowded Utah Lake. That number has dropped rapidly as fishermen have removed them by the thousands to restore the lake and protect other species and plant life.

"Over the past three or four years we've removed just over 13 million pounds which is about two and a half million carp." Said Reed Price, Executive Director of Utah Lake Commission.

On Tuesday, legislators watched the carp removal process, seeing that the fisherman can work year round. But funding for this project is almost gone and the Utah Lake Commission is asking the legislature for $5.8 million to help finish the carp removal efforts.

"If we get funding to finish this project, in the next three years we should see a different Utah lake out here," said Chris Keleher, Deputy Director of Recovery Programs for the Department of Natural Resources.

If the legislature approves the funding to finish the project, experts anticipate a $94 million return in the next 20 years through increased recreational and commercial fishing.

"This is by far and away the biggest project of this type that has ever occurred in the world -- and if we're successful then it'll be something to be really proud of," Keleher said.