In the past few years, carp have been seen in Copake Lake. These are not native fish and they are invasive. They will most likely go after native plants before eating the milfoil. In addition, they put out nitrates, which is one of the categories that has put us on the "distressed lake" list in the past.
A 2005 DEC fish survey indicated one carp. In 2008, there were five common carp noted. Recently, a further increase in the population has been observed, with recent catches weighing in at in at 29 pounds, another at 34 pounds!
Common carp, grass carp and goldfish are not protected species. They can be caught by anglers any time of year by adults with a valid fishing license. There is no size limit, nor is there a creel limit (number of fish taken). Nets or other methods of collecting fish would require a special license.
From May 15 until September 30, bow hunting of fish is permitted. Periodically the CLCS books the services of Bob Stimers and his crew of the Carp-Ageddon bow fishing vessel. The boat goes out at night and uses bright lights to attract the fish. The remains are recycled to feed farm animals. We are very grateful to Bob and the crew of the Carp-Ageddon for providing this service and helping to control the proliferation of this nuisance fish.
According to Daniel Zielinski, Aquatic Biologist with the NYS DEC: "The DEC would NEVER GIVE A PERMIT to stock common carp. Grass carp need a special permit and are generally limited to small ponds. Whoever introduced these carp into the lake violated the law". Please do not introduce any fish or plant life into Copake Lake without obtaining appropriate permits and notifications.