Asian carp were introduced to the Mississippi over 10 years ago and have spread up that river and into most of its tributaries.
Asian carp are an invasive species that push out a lot of the native fish since they feed so fast and breed so fast. They’ve even pushed into the Illinois river. Why is this so important? Well the Illinois is linked by canal to the Great Lakes (Lake Michigan).
Now the Americans have some idea of what devastation such a species might bring to the big fisheries of the Great Lakes. So they’ve built an electric fence to stop the fish from moving further afield. But a problem with the fence could result in Lake Michigan getting infected.
The province of Ontario(which borders the other 4 Great Lakes) and some American states are talking about cutting Lake Michigan off from the other Great Lakes. This would make another barrier to stop the Asian Carp from spreading. So with two barriers, the spread of the Asian Carp to the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River should at least slow the spread if not halt it completely.
In reality, I think this species is so invasive that it will eventually spread to the Great Lakes. Although I don’t live on the Lakes directly, my city, Kitchener, is on the Grand River which flows into Lake Erie. So I will see this species close up and personal if it does manage to spread.
And after researching this species on YouTube, I’m not sure that everything about this fish is so bad. You see, it has 1 character trait that I kind of like. Boat motors freak out this fish so much that they jump 6 or 8 feet out of the water when they hear the engine. They’ve been called flying fish because of this trait. Electrical stimulus to the water makes this problem/advantage even worse.
Which brings up what a town on the Illinois has done. They’ve instituted a “Redneck Fishing Tournament”. That’s when fishermen on the motorboats don’t use a pole to catch the Asian Carp. Instead they try to catch the fish with fishnets as they jump out of the water. It looks like such fun. You can check a video of that here.
Because some of the fish are over 20 pounds, they can hurt you by hitting you. People worry about deaths from this but no one has been killed yet. Still, black eyes and other injuries are common.
When I first saw the leaping fish, I thought it would be fun to take a baseball bat on board one of those boats and try to hit the Asian Carp. But thinking it through that would probably be too gruesome and cruel. So I backed of that idea and now think it would be neat to be on one of those boats with a tennis racket for each hand. My only question then, is should I hit the fish back into the water or into a spot on the boat.
There are other videos on YouTube showing this stuff. Like the one that shows people trying to shoot the fish with a bow and arrow. If you want to nose around YouTube about this just try a search for Asian Carp.
And if the carp never reach the Great Lakes? Why then I guess I’ll have to do all my Redneck Fishing Tournaments on the Illinois River.