The Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge held its annual Carp Rodeo on April 29 at the Upper Pahranagat Lake.
Admission was free. There were 72 participants from the Southern Nevada area, including locals, and people from Las Vegas, Mesquite, Overton and Caliente. A total of 68 carp were caught. Anyone twelve and older who had a fishing license could fish carp out of the lake. Kids under twelve did not need a license to fish.
This event started back in 2011 in order to raise awareness of the invasive population of carp within the Upper Pahranagat Lake. Due to overpopulation of carp, which feed on the plants on the bottom of the lake, it causes the lake water to appear murkier and not allow the light to go through the water. The lack of light prevents the increase of biological growth. This creates a problem for the ecosystem and is less appealing of a habitat for birds.
There were many forms of entertainment throughout the event. There was a fish print station where you could paint rubber fish to stamp on paper. There was a native or not game where you identified plants and animals that were native to the area. The kids were able to win prizes at the kid clothespin fishpond or participate in a beanbag toss. The Nevada Naturalists had an area of skulls and rubber re-creations of animal scat to help identify different species. Participants also were able to participate in casting practice for fishing the carp out of the lake.
The Friends of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex provided the food and some of the prizes. The Nevada Naturalists provided carp cakes. Sportsman’s Warehouse also provided gift cards for the winners. The Nevada Department of Wildlife provided free bait and poles for the participants.
Rob Vinson, the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge manager expressed, “We wish to thank our partners, The Nevada Naturalist, the Friends of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Sportsman’s Warehouse and the Nevada Department of Wildlife, for the volunteers and monetary support for this event. This wouldn’t be possible without their help every year. It’s not just a fish and wildlife event. This involves everyone.”
The winning catch of the day went to Nikolay of Las Vegas, who caught a carp weighing in at 9.3 lbs and measured 29 inches long. Nikolay was a rockstar fisherman catching a total of twenty-four carp.
The Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge would like to thank everyone who came out to support the event and would like to announce a Scorpion Hunt at the Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge on May 20 from 8-9pm. For more information, contact Barb Michel, the Visitor Services Specialist at the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge.