Carp derbies, once popular events in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, could return to Grand Lake St. Marys, according to an article by Nancy Allen published by The Daily Standard:
Carp derbies, popular on Grand Lake in the 1950s, may be held as a way to reduce the lake’s population of rough fish and increase game fish.
Tom Knapke, facilitator of the Lake Restoration Commission, told members of the nonprofit Lake Development Corporation on Monday that a meeting was held with state officials to discuss the issue.
Rough fish eat a lot of phytoplankton, which the game fish need while young until they become carnivores. Rough fish also secrete a lot of dissolved phosphorous in their waste, which feeds the toxic blue-green algae.
Knapke pulled out a 1932 newspaper story that said 200,514 carp were caught between June 14 and Sept. 8 during a carp derby on Grand Lake. LDC President Jim Dabbelt said he can remember participating in carp derbies as a child. He and three friends caught more than 1,000 in a few days, he said.
It was not unusual to see huge signs around the lake advertising the events that were held routinely to keep the carp population down.
"We’re looking to local anglers to help us with ideas," Knapke said. "Maybe with carp derbies or tournaments without a whole lot of cost."
Greg Schumm said a carp derby or tournament would be a way to bring an event back to the lake.
"What if we could get large sponsorship for a carp tournament and generate some revenue," he asked. "Get someone to put up $1,000 or $500 for first place and get something positive going."
Donna Grube, director of the Auglaize & Mercer Counties Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Indian Lake has a two-day carp tournament.