That Kentucky Alligator Was Actually a Really Long (and Invasive) Fish
Because there was precedent, reports of an alligator seen at Mike Miller Park in Marshall County were taken seriously and an advisory was issued.
ALLIGATOR REPORTS IN KENTUCKY
But folks around the Commonwealth can be forgiven if they were nonetheless skeptical; we just don't have alligators here. It's too cold in Kentucky in the winter for gators to survive. The previous incidents in which the giant reptiles were reported being seen were likely flukes and probably happened because they were being illegally kept as pets. That was certainly the case in 2021 when two alligators were confiscated from a Paducah home.
THAT WAS NO ALLIGATOR, THAT WAS A REALLY LONG FISH
But the alligator reported at Mike Miller Park has turned out NOT to be an alligator after all.
"Update- an individual that has hunted and caught alligators on multiple occasions was brought in over the weekend after the report of a possible alligator sighting in our pond last week.After two nights at the park, a grass carp (barely visible in this picture) is suspected to be what was reported as an alligator. This grass carp is roughly 4 ft long, the same length the suspected alligator was reported to be, and will feed in shallow water.Our park staff initially thought this grass carp could be the culprit as it has alarmed several people in the past.We will miss all of the fun Jurassic Park memes, but we are happy to report the pond is being given the all clear. Happy fishing!"
When I first saw that picture, at a glance, I thought, "Oh wow, that was no alligator, that was a UFO." But nope, it was a grass carp.
SO WHAT IS A GRASS CARP...I MEAN, BESIDES A FISH?
And you're all like, "Ohhhh, a grass carp...what in world is a GRASS CARP?" I was all like that, too.
The grass carp is a species of large herbivorous freshwater fish in the family Cyprinidae, native to the Pacific Far East, with a native range stretching from northern Vietnam to the Amur River on the Sino-Russian border. This Asian carp is the only species of the genus Ctenopharyngodon - Wikipedia
So yeah, it's just a really long fish, and there are plenty of online tutorials on how to catch them.
A GRASS CARP IS AN ASIAN CARP AND THEY ARE NOT WELCOME
But I'm thinking it's not necessarily great news, based on what we've come to know about Asian carp, an invasive species, nearly 10 million pounds of which were removed from Kentucky's lakes and rivers in 2021. In fact, they're not welcome anywhere--"invasive" species typically aren't.
The Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources is no fan of any form of Asian carp and is always working to rid Kentucky's waters of the unwelcome creatures.
It is non-native and can only alter delicate ecological systems. That's why there are always efforts to eradicate them. Here's an underwater camera catching a grass carp in action.
I know there are a lot more videos featuring excited anglers showing us how to catch them, but, environmentally, they're not really anything to get excited about.
Besides, I prefer catfish.
[SOURCE: West Kentucky Star]