(CBS) — Peoria officials hope nets and bows and arrows will help deal with Asian carp, which are flourishing in the Illinois River.
They’ve organized the Flying Fish Bowhunting Tournament on Saturday for those willing to shoot the carp, which spend a fair amount of their time leaping out of the water.
Rick Swan, Executive Director of the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, said there are two categories for the competition: those who hunt Asian carp with bows, and those who just haul them from the water with nets. Bowhunters can launch their boats at 5 a.m.; net fishers can launch at 9 a.m.
Swan said those fishing with poles are on their own.
Teams of up to four people must pay a $120 entry fee per boat for either competition. The top prize – if there are at least 100 boats – will be $2,500 for first place, $2,000 for second, $1,500 for third, $1,000 for fourth, and $500 for fifth.
Swan said the larger idea is to raise awareness of Asian carp’s potential as a food source. There will be four chefs on hand showing what can be done with Asian Carp.
The long-term hope is to attract an Asian Carp processing plant which will turn the invasive nuisance into an economic engine for those living along the Illinois River.