Sarah Judd
Stanley Boychev of Las Vegas shows off the 28-inch carp he caught at the annual Carp Rodeo at the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday.

Thirty-one local residents, as well as dozens of people from Las Vegas, showed up to the annual Carp Rodeo at the Upper Pahranagat Lake, hosted by the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge.

Kids under 12 could fish in the lake without a fishing license and those 12 and older were able to participate if they had a current one. Free bait and tackle rental were provided by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). Sportsman’s Warehouse and the Las Vegas Fishing Club donated prizes for the winning participants.

About 123 people helped to fish carp in order to control the population in the lake and improve habitat for native species. The largest fish in the adult’s division was caught by Stanley Boychev, from Las Vegas, and measured in at 28-inches long. The largest fish in the children’s division was caught by Fernanda Cota and measured in at 22-inches long. In total, a new record of 77 fish were caught.

Other activities involved games for kids and free samples of Chig’s Famous Carp Cakes. The Friends of Desert Wildlife Refuge also sponsored a free lunch to the first 100 participants.

Barbara Michel, Visitor Services Specialist at the Refuge, expressed, “I am really happy with the turnout this year. The weather cooperated, for the most part, despite medium winds flaring up by mid-morning. We had a record naumber of fish caught, and you can’t beat that. It seemed like everyone was having a good time.”

Michel added, “A lot of people wonder what happens to the fish we catch, and we essentially recycle them back into the ecosystem. However, if anyone is interested in a large amount of carp donated to them, they can get in touch with the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge to coordinate it for next year.”