Courtesy photo
An angler at a recent Carp Rodeo shows off the day’s catch. This year’s event is the morning of April 28 at the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge.

Submitted By Barbara Michel

The sun is shining, the songbirds are singing, and the cacti are flowering. It’s springtime in the Pahranagat Valley, and that means it’s time for the year’s biggest event at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge.

The seventh annual Carp Rodeo will take place on Saturday, April 28. As in previous years, the Nevada Department of Wildlife will be providing free pole rentals and bait.

The first cast-off will be promptly at 9 a.m., and there will be prizes for the first and largest carp caught in both children’s and adult divisions. If you want to win the first carp of the day prize, make sure you come out early! There will also be games and activities set up for those who don’t like fishing. Adventurous eaters can try free samples of Chig’s famous Carp Cakes.

At noon, there will be a free picnic lunch for the first 100 participants. The event will take place at the Upper Lake, near the picnic shelter across from the camp host site.

The Carp Rodeo is a lot of fun, and it also serves an important purpose. Carp are not native to Nevada and their presence in the Upper Lake and North Marsh of Pahranagat NWR degrades the habitat for native species. Since carp are bottom feeders, they dredge up vegetation and cloud the water. This makes the lakes less attractive as habitats. By removing carp from the water, you’re improving the habitat for the migratory birds that Pahranagat NWR was set up to protect.

If you have any questions about the Carp Rodeo, contact Barbara_michel@fws.gov or call the refuge at 775-725-3417, extension 101 or 702-343-2402 (cell).