Dave Maxwell
Ben Schnose of Las Vegas and his kids caught several fish at the Carp Rodeo at the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. A beautiful spring day made for a most pleasant experience.

The Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge held its annual Carp Rodeo April 27 at Upper Pahranagat Lake.

Over 130 participants, including families and kids, came for the one-day event to catch as many carp as they could.

Carp are an oily, invasive species and need to be periodically reduced in the lake as much as possible. In all, 104 carp were caught at the rodeo.

The event this year was sponsored in part by the family and friends of the late Tim Kuchar, an avid fisherman who passed away last year. One of his final wishes was to make several donations that encouraged people to fish on public lands. Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge was proud to hold the 2019 Carp Rodeo in his memory.

Other sponsors included the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Friends of Desert National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada Naturalists, Sportsman’s Warehouse and the Las Vegas Fishing Club.

Visitors were able to look over several information booths from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, enjoy interactive games for the kids and enjoy a barbecue lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs and chips.

Ben Schnose of Las Vegas brought his family to the lake and caught a large number of fish. “We’ve come here several times to fish, but this is the first time attending the Carp Rodeo. Saw it promoted on a YouTube video and wanted to come. We love fishing and carp is a good fight, and there are also several other activities for the kids to enjoy. A really neat idea.”

Jessica Samuelson, Visitor Services Specialist with the Fish and Wildlife Service at the refuge, said the turnout was “better than we expected as many people do like to fish for carp and the weather today definitely helped.”

Diego Marina of Las Vegas said he fished Pahranagat Lake on the Fourth of July last year with his son and daughter, but this was the first time the family had attended this event and “enjoyed it very much.”

Prizes were given in four categories in both Youth and Adult divisions, one prize per person.

Youth winners:

Roger L – First carp caught

Dante C. – Most carp caught (8)

John B. – Longest carp caught (19 inches)

Emily L – Heaviest carp taken, (2.44 lbs)

Adult winners:

Marianna S. – First carp caught

Nikolay – Most carp caught (23)

George S. – Longest carp caught, (23.7’)

Elbi – Heaviest carp caught (4.33 lbs.)