Evelyn Sanguinetti. From the Gulf to the Great Lakes, from Denver to Knoxville, Bighead and Asian Silver carp have overtaken manmade lakes and large sections of rivers threatening the ecosystem and the multi-million dollar recreational and commercial fishing industry. Flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers caused ponds to overflow, allowing the carp to escape into rivers and reproduce in the wild.
Using harvest efforts, commercial fishers can reduce impacts of invasive species to provide value added products such as this potato crusted silverfin found in dining halls at University of Illinois. Photo courtesy of University of Illinois Dining Services. The MVP launch in provides a way to defray business costs for further development and marketing of Asian carp ventures with the goal of heightened control and management.
Megan Thompson Megan Thompson. Hungry students line up, swipe their ID cards and swarm the buffets. The carp have been slowly making their way up through the Mississippi watershed since they were first brought to the U.
On a bleak and biting December morning, a team of state-contracted commercial fishermen at Starved Rock Marina slipped into their waders, salted down their johnboats to protect against ice and launched onto the Illinois River. Armed with thousands of yards of netting, the fleet set course for a cove at Sheehan Island where they suspected a horde of silver and bighead carp, the most abundant and worrisome species of invasive Asian carp, were holed up for the winter. Within less than a half hour, the fishermen transformed the inlet, which is big enough to hold Millennium Park, into an enormous booby trap, layering netting from the shores to the mouth of the bay. Once they were finished, the stillness of the muted winter morning was broken by the fishermen collectively revving their motors, driving frenzied Asian carp into the nets.
These carp are native to China. They were originally imported into the southern United States in the s to provide an inexpensive, fast-growing addition to fresh fish markets. They also served to help keep aquaculture facilities clean.
For the past three years, John Jia has been getting dozens of calls every day asking about one of the most talked about products heading from the US to China. The US company started exporting frozen Asian carp and fish products to China. A processing factory is also being built in the Chinese port city of Tianjin to cater to its expansion.
A 5-pound Asian carp was pulled out of the Rock Run Rookery on Monday, but the invasive species increasingly is harder to find in this area, state officials said at a demonstration event. About fish annually are pulled from the Dresden Pool area, he said. State officials touted their successes in curbing the Asian carp population amid the ongoing debate in Washington, D.
Through the Asian Carp Market Value Program MVPIllinois Department of Natural Resources offers grant funding for current Asian carp processors and product-makers to support development of new markets and sales opportunities for Asian carp products. MVP's intent is to assist the State of Illinois in meeting invasive species management goals by encouraging demand for Asian carp through business growth. Applicants also will be required to establish quantifiable goals to be achieved with grant funds, which will be a condition of grant disbursement.
Bow-fishing for jumping carp is fun, but the sheer volume of carp is crowding out native fish, so much in fact that in parts of the river 8 out of every 10 fish is an Asian carp. A fact which some Illinois officials believe could be an asset. Across the Mississippi Valley, fishermen and exporters are teaming up to develop the market for carp, and carp products.
December 10, On a bleak and biting December morning, a team of state-contracted commercial fishermen at Starved Rock Marina slipped into their waders, salted down their johnboats to protect against ice and launched onto the Illinois River. Armed with thousands of yards of netting, the fleet set course for a cove at Sheehan Island where they suspected a horde of silver and bighead carp, the most abundant and worrisome species of invasive Asian carp, were holed up for the winter.