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Asian Carp are proliferating in many of our waterways at an alarming rate, especially in the mid-west. They reproduce quickly, with females able to lay over 1 million eggs per year. That combined with consuming available food so quickly, that they are competing in a major way with resident sport fish species. This video shows just how serious the problem has become, released by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Game, as reported by CNN. They are using an electroshocking rig, that sends enough current into the water to stun some, and scare most of the fish near the boat. It gives the fisheries scientists a way to do a fish count, and also a way to harvest some of the fish and sell for processing. Hey at least they are getting some good fertilizer out of it. Actually, stunning fish with an electric current is common practice for fisheries agencies to do fish studies – it only stuns doesn’t kill.
The video is shocking not only in how many carp have intruded into this waterway. You can only imagine resident bass and other species would have a hard time competing with that density of fish. This project is trying to keep the carp from entering lake Barkley, recognizing that the situation is so serious it is threatening tourism.
It’s also shocking how extensive the Asian Carp problem has become, with many states in the midwest fighting to keep the carp from entering the great lakes, and expanding to other waterways in their state. Extreme measures such as open water electric cables in the Illinois river, “bio barriers” made of bubbles, light, and soundwaves to deter the fish, and other measures are being experimented with.
If you want to earn some money, check with your state’s fish and game department, because increasingly commercial fishing permits and bounties are being used to target controlling these fish.
Originally four types of Asian Carp were allowed to be exported, mostly into ponds in the Mississippi watershed, as well as the Illinois and Missouri rivers. They were thought to be good at cleaning up algae blooms, and also were farmed in ponds to serve the US asian market. However, they escaped from their ponds during floods, and have been proliferating ever since being brought here in the 1970s. Looking back, it may seem obvious they could become a problem but that wasn’t the thinking at the time.
This may not be the best fishing video, but is definitely one of the most amazing, best fish videos we’ve seen. Comparing to videos where Asian Carp jump out of the water up to 10 feet, sometimes landing in peoples boats. Asian Carp do this because they are actually quite sensitive to sound, so when a boat motor approaches, especially when the boat is fast, they don’t have time to get out of the way.
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