UTICA, IL – A new state-record bighead Asian carp was among nearly 12,000 fish taken by participants in the Bowfishing Association of Illinois’ second-annual Director’s Shoot on the Illinois River near Starved Rock State Park, July 16-17.
The new record for bighead carp taken by bow – a 59 lb. 4 oz. fish – was brought in by Robb Kemper of the Team Fish Slayer bowfishing team of Iowa during the tournament. The previous bowfishing record for bighead carp in Illinois was 43 lbs. 5.6 oz. set last year on the Des Plaines River in Will Co. In all during the weekend tournament, participants took 48,000 pounds of invasive fish from the Illinois River during an eight-hour period.
“Congratulations to all the participants and the Bowfishing Association of Illinois for highlighting an exciting and fun way to catch fish – while also highlighting the importance of removing invasive Asian carp from our waterways,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller. “Recreational anglers can be of tremendous help in our efforts to haul Asian carp out of the Illinois River system to keep these dangerous fish from migrating into the Great Lakes.”
The Bowfishing Association of Illinois Director’s Shoot targeting Asian carp included a day shoot on July 16 and a night shoot from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. on July 16-17.
"Bowfishing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Many of the fish we can harvest by bow are quite tasty, gar, silver, bighead and grass carp as well as the sucker species. Any invasive fish such as the Asian and common carps that are removed by bowfishing is a big plus for our waters as well,” said BAI Club President Ed Devries.
Participating teams were able to weigh-in their 30 top fish taken by bow, with prizes awarded to the heaviest stringer.
Awards were also presented in an invasive fish format in which teams competed for the most Asian carp and common carp taken by bow. The winning team in the numbers division, Team Innerloc from Iowa, took 2,932 Asian carp and common carp from the river. The second-place team removed 1,937 invasive fish from the river and the third-place team removed 1,435 fish. In all, the 54 teams removed approximately 12,000 fish – or about 24 tons of fish – from the Illinois River.
Next year’s Bowfishing Association of Illinois Director’s Shoot is scheduled for July 21-22, 2012. For more information on bowfishing and the Director’s Shoot, contact the BAI at 630-886-1672 or check the website at www.illinoisbowfishing.net
For information on bowfishing regulations and other fishing opportunities in Illinois, check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/fishing or the ‘I Fish Illinois’ website at www.ifishillinois.org
For more information on efforts to track and remove Asian carp from the Illinois River and Chicago Area Waterway System, check the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee website at www.asiancarp.org