Re: NANFA-- Flying Carp- More than just a Fish Story

Roselawn Museum (roselawn_at_mindspring.com)
Fri, 31 May 2002 10:51:47 -0400

Put a bowfishing bounty on 'em, to be paid by the idiots who introduced
them in the first place. As for the flying variety...bonus bucks if you
nail one in mid-air!

Steven A. Ellis
Kennesaw, GA

At 09:48 AM 5/31/02 -0500, you wrote:
>An old article, but nonethless interesting
>
>see <http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/invasives/010125wcr.htm> for
>the complete article, which also discusses other introduced carp species
>
>WI DNR Invasive Species News
>Issued by DNR's La Crosse office, Jan. 25, 2001
>
> Flying Carp- More than just a Fish Story
>
> By Ruth Nissen, Wisconsin DNR
>
> Imagine if you can, 10-20 lb. fish jumping into
>your boat as you idle
> a boat in the side channels of the Mississippi
>River. A classic fish
> story, but one that has become true in the Missouri
>and Mississippi
> Rivers. In reality it is a situation that can be
>downright hazardous
> especially when a 20-lb fish comes flying at your
>head. Biologists
> from the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program have
>reported
> being hit multiple times by large jumping fish on
>the Mississippi River
> north of St. Louis while electrofishing to sample
>fish populations.
> Unfortunately the fish in this case are bighead
>carp, not exactly the
> fish of dreams, because they have little or no
>value as a game fish.
>
> In addition to their jumping ability these fish are
>also notable for their
> appearance and their size. The location of their
>eyes, which are
> located far forward and low on the head, gives the
>fish a rather
> bizarre appearance (in Latin their name means
>underneath eye).
> These fish grow incredibly fast and reach about 25
>inches by the
> second year, eventually reaching over 28 inches
>long and 40 to 50
> lbs. In some backwaters of the Mississippi River
>and in some
> locations in Indiana, (which are now filled with
>bighead, silver and
> some common carp rather than native fish species),
>commercial
> fisherman have had to abandon their traditional
>fishing style because
> the carp are so large and abundant the fisherman
>canít even lift their
> nets.
>
> Bighead carp were brought to the U.S. in 1973 from
>China to help
> improve the water quality and control plankton
>populations
> (microscopic animals and plants) in catfish farms,
>(initially in
> Arkansas). By 1978, the importation and possession
>of bighead carp
> was prohibited, but the damage had already been
>done. Bighead
> carp had already escaped into nearby rivers. Farm
>fish ponds are not
> closely controlled or monitored and are often
>located in bottomlands
> that are subject to flooding, thereby offering an
>easy escape route for
> these exotic carp.
>
> Bighead carp filter feed on zooplankton
>(microscopic animals) which
> puts them in direct competition for food with
>paddlefish, bigmouth
> buffalo, and gizzard shad as well as all young
>native fish. The carp
> have the edge on our native species because of
>their large suction
> volume, and voracious appetites, which enables them
>to quickly
> decimate concentrations of zooplankton. To make
>matters worse,
> the carp are also prolific breeders and they get so
>large so fast that
> not much else is big enough to eat them.
>
> Eventually the bighead carp found its way into the
>Mississippi and
> Missouri River systems and is currently reported in
>22 states
> including Iowa, Illinois, and South Dakota. Their
>furthest northern
> point so far on the Mississippi is the dam at
>Keokuk, Iowa.
> However, officials report bighead carp "stacking up
>like cordwood"
> below dams on the Missouri, Des Moines and the
>upper Mississippi
> Rivers trying to penetrate upstream river reaches.
>The species
> ultimate potential range in North America is unknown.

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