Flying Asian Carp On The Rise At Reelfoot Lake

(Reelfoot Lake) A peaceful fishing trip on Reelfoot Lake ended with an attack by “airborne” Asian carp.

The big fish hit a woman in the shoulders and the face, giving her bloody lip.

People living near the popular lake report seeing the flying carp more and more.

They say fishing there is becoming a dangerous sport.

Milburn Vaught is “well-known” around Reelfoot Lake, “If one of them was to hit you in the mouth and the face… buddy you’re gonna be bruised.”

He isn’t spinning a fish story when he talks about aggressive Asian carp.

Vaught says the flying fish has invaded Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee, “You’ll have carp jumpin’ in the boat. They’ll hit you in the back, hit you in the side, knock your glasses off.”

Fish can be seen leaping through the air by the hundreds.

It’s believed the vibration of a boat’s motor causes the fish to react this way.

Last week a man and woman fishing on Reelfoot, came face to face with flying carp.

Denise Dane of Hornbeak,  Tennessee got the worst of the encounter.

Wayne Pride of Samburg Tennessee heard about the woman’s injuries, “They busted her lip and I think bruised her up on the shoulder and back. And they said it was more like “under attack.”

The fish have been in the United States since the 1970′s and were introduced to manage algae in catfish ponds.

since then, they have found their way into rivers, streams and lakes like Reelfoot.

Robert Griffin, owner of Griffin’s Fish Market, says there’s not much of a market locally for the fish which has grown in numbers, “It’s gotten worse over the years. I believe when we get the high waters and of course last year we had the floods you know. And I think they really came in big then.”

Angela Whitehead, from Moscow Mills, Missouri,  was at Reelfoot Monday fishing with her dad and sister.

She says the flying Asian carp isn’t what she’s looking to hook, “Just like that lady getting injured,  what good is your hobby if it’s going to hurt you or even get you killed for that matter.”

Some commercial fishermen at Reelfoot have used nets to catch the fish which are sold in Kentucky.

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