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May 25, 2014

Carp! It's what's for dinner? Maybe not

DUNCAN — It’s carp fishing time again.

For the sixteenth year, the City of Duncan Public Works Department and Pier 1 Marine will host a fishing tournament aimed at the lowly carp.

Why, you may ask, would one even bother?

Lance Spaulding, the owner of Pier 1, acknowledges most people prefer not to eat carp, most commonly called grass carp

But catching them is a barrel of fun, if you’re an angler, Spaulding said.

“They’re strong. You catch a 15 or 20-pounder, you’ll have your hands full,” he said.

  The Web site okiefish.com confirms this:

“Pound for pound, carp will put up a fight equal to most sport fish. In Europe, carp rank third among sport fishes behind Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout. Carp are powerful and can grow quite large so appropriate tackle is required. Popular baits include dough balls, canned corn, bread crusts, and worms fished on the bottom.”

Spaulding even said some of the grass carp lurking in Duncan’s reservoirs are as big as “a small child.”

When challenged on this comparison, Spaulding insisted he wasn’t spinning a tall fish tale.

  The weigh-in during the two-day tournament on June 6 and 7 is at Clear Creek Lake Pavilion #1.

  Bow fishing and rod and reel fishing are allowed.

    There’s plenty of carp in the city’s lakes, said Duncan Public Works Director Scott Vaughn.

  They were introduced  many years ago to control the growth of grass on the lake bottom, but later the  experts acknowledged that wasn’t a particuarly good thing.

     “The grass actually provides cover for fish to spawn,” he said.

    Grass carp now are  found in most reservoirs in Oklahoma and their reproduction  has been verified in Lake Texoma by state biologists.

    The carp fishing tournament  in the beginning was promoted as a way to get rid of the nuisance fish, but as a practical matter the event doesn’t have much affect, Vaughn said.

   “To be honest, you can’t get rid of the carp in this manner,” he said. “As much as anything, the tournament was initiated to have a fun family event.”

    The fishing tournament coincides with the State of Oklahoma’s free fishing day, when a fishing license is not required. The city also waives its requirement for a permit to fish in the city’s reservoirs during the tourney, Vaughn said, so fishing  on June 6-7 should cost next to nothing.    

   To qualify for prizes, participants must register at Duncan City Hall, the Public Works Department or by calling 255-9538.

    If you don’t want to keep the carp you catch, the city says it will dispose of them for you.

 

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