Kentucky Waterski Federation is an organization of water skiers and their families, dedicated to the growth and development of the 3-Event Discipline of water skiing in the state of Kentucky.
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02/15/2017

USA Water Ski National Junior Development Team

Once again, Austin Collins of Murray, Boys 3 overall skier from Murray, a
member of the Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts, has been named as a member of the
USA Water Ski National Junior Development Team.  This is the second
consecutive year for Collins to be included with this elite group of 24
male and female skiers from across the country.  Collins is the only
skier from Kentucky on the development team, and one of five skiers from
the AWSA Southern Region to be so named.

02/09/17

WATER SKIING “STATE OF THE STATE”

Well, everyone, winter seems to be just about over the hump (Have we really had a winter in Kentucky?).  The long range forecast shows the rest of February projected to be above average in Kentucky, after a very cold day today (February 9).  Not sure what OUR groundhog saw, but it must have been cloudy that day!  In any case, it’s time to start thinking about water skiing, at least a little bit.

Following are some random notes concerning water skiing in the upcoming season:
  • Patriot Lake near Bowling Green (Eric Kelley and company) is planning to host its first-ever sanctioned tournament this summer – scheduled for July 15th.  It will be a 3-round, 3-event competition.
  • There are currently seven tournaments that have been sanctioned in our state for the 2017 season.
  • The Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts will once again host the Kentucky Advanced Juniors Clinic, June 14-16, at Twin Oaks Lakes in Paducah.  There will also be at least one additional clinic for juniors, the one-cay clinic held on Friday, July 7th, in conjunction with the state championships.
  • The Ski Nuts will host a Safety and Drivers (drivers, on water portion only) on Friday, June 20th, in advance of the 42nd Kentucky Lake Open, and during the Advanced Juniors Clinic.
  • The 2017 Southern Regionals will be held at Lymanland in Tuscaloosa, AL for the second consecutive year. Dates are July 19-23.
  • The 2017 Nationals will once again return to San Marcos River Ranch near San Marcos, TX.  Dates are August 9-12.
  • A site for the 2018 Nationals has already been selected.  Nationals will be held at a new (to Nationals) site – Mystic Lakes in Maize, KS August 8-11.  Mystic Lakes is a two-lake site, and Maize is about 20 minutes west of the Wichita airport along I-285.
  • The ongoing battle between the Ski Nuts and the Asian Carp (see additional article) will hopefully draw to a close this weekend, as we plan to sterilize the north lake on Saturday (February 11th).  We completed work on the south lake the weekend before Christmas, then took a few weeks to recover before tackling the second lake.
  • There are a few proposed rules changes for 2017 that some of us will be interested in.  Probably the most significant (at present) is an extension from last year of the rule for juniors which allowed juniors to make progressive line shortenings below max speed, and increase their scores at below max speeds.  Rumor has it that this rule has been approved at the national level for all divisions.  This may make for an interesting challenge for scorers and judges.
  • An additional rule modification, along the same lines, is that a skier may ski above the maximum division speed and score a higher buoy count at a given line length than a skier at the standard division speed.  Example: In Men 3, a skier skiing 6 at 36 mph/28 off would have the same score as a skier skiing 6 at 34 mph/32 off.  Hmmmmmmm ------ .

If anyone else has any additional news you’d like included in the above, please let me know, and we’ll add it to the list.

Lastly, I need NOMINEES FOR SKIER PERSONALITY OF THE MONTH !!!!  I’m out of names right now, so if you give me the info on somebody, they’ll most likely become Ski Personality for February

Stay warm everybody,
Joe B

02/10/17

“CARP WARS”

Many of you already know about the battle the Ski Nuts have been waging against the Asian Carp invasion of Twin Oaks Lakes.  This has been an expensive, time consuming, and exhausting war against these evil critters – starting in October and continuing through mid-February.  We hope to bring this to a conclusion the weekend of February 11-12.

Asian Carp infested Twin Oaks during the 2011 flood, when the Ohio and Clarks rivers backed up into our ski lakes.  The carp had a wide-open shot into the lakes for several weeks, and they obviously took full advantage.  The spawning habits of Asian Carp direct them to migrate upstream into tributaries to lay their eggs (an adult female can drop up to one million eggs in a single batch), and we became an upstream tributary to the carp.  When they got to the lakes, they hit the end of the line, so they stayed put in massive numbers. 

At the time, we were not aware of this, but it became evident over the last couple of years as dangerous jumps by silver Asians became more and more frequent.  This past summer, one of our skiers (Kassidy Hawkins) was hit while trick skiing, and suffered a severe leg bruise.  That was the final straw, and we decided we had to take drastic action to completely rid the lakes of Asians.

A little info about Asian Carp.  There are four types of Asian Carp which are prevalent in U.S. waters – silver, bighead, grass, and black.  The first two are the ones that have become extremely problematic to ecosystems, and the silver carp are the ones with the high jumping ability (as high as 8 to 10 feet above the surface) which have caused numerous, and sometimes severe injuries.  These fish, which are strictly vegetarian, will wipe out a lake or pond by simply outcompeting every other species for base level food (vegetation), thus starving out other species starting with the bottom of the food chain and going all the way up to primary game fish.

After evaluating several options for exterminating the fish from Twin Oaks, we decided to pump the lakes down to virtually empty – one lake at a time.  Then we’d seine out all the fish we possibly could, to salvage the game fish and eliminate the carp, and sterilize the remaining water to get 100% eradication. There is a significant market for the carp here in western Kentucky, with a processing plant in Wickliffe (30 miles west) that would take all we could ship, so we planned to capture and sell.  We had no idea how many fish we’d catch, but the best “WAG” was that we might pull out 10,000 pounds from the two lakes. Geez, were we ever wrong!!














The chronology of events has gone something like this:
  • Pat Coomes secured a 16-inch agricultural pump (tractor driven) in early October from a farmer friend in Owensboro, and we put it in the lakes and started pumping in early November.  With the larger of two tractors we had available, we were able to pump about 5,000 gpm (seven million gallons per day – enough to fill 140 Olympic-size swimming pools), dropping the lake level over a half-foot per day.  Fortunately, we were in a dry period, we started out with a relatively low lake level, and we did not have to deal with any run-off for several weeks.
  • We knew the north and south lakes would completely divide at about four feet down, which they did.  At this point, we used heavy equipment to move dirt and raise the dividing levee on the west end to completely separate the two lakes at normal summer pool, so we could deal with one lake at a time.
  • We continued to pump from the south lake (the larger lake, takes all run-off water) until we got it as low as possible with the big pump, then switched to four smaller (3-inch) pumps to continue pumping down to large “puddles.”  We ended up with three distinct basins on the south side, each having to be dealt with separately.
  • Now it was time to seine fish, and find out what was really in the lake.  A friend of the Ski Nuts secured a 200-foot commercial net, and we set up to seine the southeast basin (the one in front of the Burkhead home) on December 3rd.  This basin collected about one-fourth of the total area of the two lakes.  Little could we have imagined what we’d find, expecting maybe two to three thousand pounds of carp, and a lot of game fish.  As we dragged the net the length of the basin, which now had a max depth of around 12 inches, we could see the frenzy of fish start to increase.  By the time we were within 50 feet of the end of the basin, the net had collected a churning cauldron of madness!  Pulling slowly from each bank with a tractor on one end and a 4WD large pick-up on the other, we started to bog down with the truck.  Then one entire end of the net gave way and released half our catch back into the basin!
  • We were able to drag about half the catch out onto “dry” lake bottom before everything gave way (dry lake bottom was actually muck up to 3 feet deep).  As you can see from the pictures, our catch was a little larger than expected!!  We loaded out 5,000 lbs of carp to market before we pooped out (dragged the carp to tractor buckets positioned on solid surface, dumped buckets into large hoppers), and left at least 3,000 lbs on the bank.  AND we had lost an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 lbs back into the basin.  AND this basin represented only about one-fourth of the lakes area/volume.  Based on these numbers, we now estimate we were “housing” around 60,000 lbs of Asian Carp in our 32 acres of lakes.
  • The largest carp we caught that first day was a bighead, around 110 lbs (see picture).  We caught dozens of carp, silver and bighead, over 50 lbs, hundreds over 20-30 lbs.
  • We had virtually no success in saving game fish on this first attempt.  They were just too buried in the carp!  The “half net” of fish resulted in a pile about 100 feet long, 20 feet wide, and up to two feet deep!  Game fish simply got buried in the mass. (again, see picture)
  • We went through the same process on December 17th with the jump basin (area of the ski jump) and the crescent basin (around the southwest island), except we did not even try to salvage game fish.  We were faced with heavy rains that evening and we knew we had to get finished that day or suffer several weeks of setback.  We were successful, and the south lake is now 100% clear of Asian Carp.  Rain and run-off have already filled it back to nearly two-thirds full.
  • We’re now in the process of finishing the north lake.  We could relax a little more with this one as we did not have to worry about run-off flooding us out.  Like the south lake, it divided into two major basins and one smaller one.  We started pumping down in late January, and have all basins ready to finish off on the weekend of February 11th.  We’ll try to seine for game fish the week of February 6th and hope we have better luck salvaging a restock base.  We’re dealing with the same problems, however – bottom muck that is as much as 3 feet deep – impossible to work in – so we have to do all seining from the banks, using ropes.
  • Once we’ve finished the north lake to 100% kill, we’ll cut a connecting (boat) gap through the temporary levee and allow both lakes to refill together.  We hope to have this done before the end of February.
  • Carp Wars – WE WIN!!  Or at least we look like we’re in good position to do so by the end of this week.

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