Re: NANFA-L-- Carp News

Christopher Scharpf (
Tue, 24 May 2005 06:18:16 -0400

>> As carp angling enthusiast Tom Dickson put it, "The carp was the perfect
>> scapegoat. It was foreign. It was thriving. And it couldn't defend itself."

> So, carp "hapless scapegoat" or carp, "invasive bad guy"?

Please re-read what I wrote. I was specifically referring to carp being
blamed for deteriorating water quality.

However, this is not to say that carp are an entirely benign presence. Carp
will prey on the eggs of other species and, as such, have been implicated in
the declines of the razorback sucker in the Colorado River basin and the
white sturgeon in the Columbia River. The carp's penchant for dislodging
plants can destroy native fish spawning and nursery areas, while their
rooting through mud can increase turbidity and thereby reduce light for

But because carp have been around ever since scientists began collecting
data on fish abundance, their total impact on the American fish fauna may
never be known.

What is known is that carp rarely make waters inhospitable to other fishes.
Instead, it is humans who have made waters inhospitable to fishes other than

Once established, carp are expensive if not impossible to eliminate. As long
as rivers are dammed, channelized, muddied from eroded and treeless river
banks, and tainted with industrial and human wastes, America will always be
home to the uncommonly adaptable common carp.

Chris Scharpf

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