FRANKFORT, Ky. — The fisheries division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources began shad eradication efforts at six lakes enrolled in the Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) program this week. All lakes should be treated by the end of January.
“The lakes will remain open to fishing during this process as the chemical used poses no threat to humans,” said Dane Balsman, coordinator of the FINs program for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
Shad, a native baitfish common to reservoirs across Kentucky, become problematic when introduced into smaller lakes. It is illegal to use shad for bait in many smaller lakes in the state.
“The presence of shad in our smaller impoundments gets the forage base out of whack,” Balsman explained. “Shad negatively impact largemouth bass reproduction and hurts bluegill populations because there aren’t as many bass eating them to keep their numbers in check. You end up with many small bluegill and low numbers of bass.”
Crews treated Prisoner’s Lake in Kenton County this week. Other lakes scheduled for shad eradication include Lusby Lake in Scott County, Maysville-Mason County Lake in Mason County, Brickyard Pond in Knox County, Waymond Morris Park Lake in Daviess County and Bob Noble Park Lake in McCracken County.
Balsman said winter is a good time to conduct shad eradication. Fewer people use these lakes at this time of year and the cold water temperatures are the most stressful time of the year for shad. The eradication will have minimal impact to bass, catfish and panfish.
The department has performed similar shad removal projects over the past 20 years at several small impoundments, including Beaver, Corinth, Elmer Davis and McNeely lakes.