Flying Fish Festival kicks off in July

Jan 17, 2014

Some area businesses and organizations are working to bring more awareness to the Asian carp population in the Illinois River through the launch of a new festival.

Bass Pro Shops is sponsoring the 2014 Flying Fish Festival and Bow Fishing Tournament. The event is expected to attract up to 200 fishermen from around the U.S. and locally to shoot the fish as they jump out of the water.

John Hamann is the Rural Economic Development Director for Peoria County. He says the goal is to educate the public about the invasive fish that threaten native species.

"What we ultimately hope to do is to locate a processing plant here in the region, so that we can harvest these carp from the river and market them and turn them into all kinds of beneficial products, and at the same time then decrease that population that is a threat to the Great Lakes."

Hamann says the festival will put just a small dent in the river’s Asian Carp population.

The Flying Fish festival will take place along the Illinois River, extending into several counties. There will be cash prizes for those who catch the most fish, activities on both sides of the river, and local chefs preparing cuisine using the carp. It takes place July 11th and 12th.

Money raised from the event will support the Union Sportsman Alliance and the Preservation of the Peoria Labor Temple. More information is available by contacting the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce or Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.