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Carp Wars!
February 10, 2012 8:59 AM   Subscribe

The various subspecies of Asian carp are considered an invasive species in North America, and the governments of the US and Canada are working frantically to keep them from traveling up the Mississippi to the Great Lakes (previously). Unfortunately, they have circumvented sophisticated barriers designed to stop them, and as filter-feeders they are "difficult to catch using normal angling methods". But we're Americans, are we going to take this lying down? The Peoria Carp Hunters answer for us all, with a resounding, bro-ful "Hell, no!" (Warning, loud music.)

The carp have been leaping into boats on the Blue before, but the Peoria Carp Hunters can objectively be said to have raised carp-trolling to an art form. Their earlier efforts were impressive, but not as entertaining as this latest video.
posted by richyoung (31 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
What I don't understand is, if, as humans, we are so successful at extinguishing 99.9% of other species on earth, why are there some species, such as Asian carp and African snails, that we cannot eradicate?
posted by KokuRyu at 9:02 AM on February 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was going to say exactly the same thing ad KokuRyu. Passenger Pigeon, Atlantic Cod (nearly), you'd think we could take on the carp. I think the problem is there just isn't the economic incentive to get individuals out doing this for their own benefit - you're relying on limited government resources. Also, animals are remarkably resilient; they haven't survived for millions of years by not being able to adapt.
posted by Dasein at 9:07 AM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the problem is there just isn't the economic incentive to get individuals out doing this for their own benefit - you're relying on limited government resources.

That pretty much sums it up. Virtually all creatures driven to extinction were done so in the pursuit of personal gain of some sort. All we need is for a lady's fashion trend involving some use of the asian carp's anatomy, preferably involving hats!
posted by Atreides at 9:11 AM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a bunch of carp.
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 9:12 AM on February 10, 2012


Carpe carpem, boys!
posted by ocschwar at 9:13 AM on February 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


No incentive, nobody wants to eat carp. Asian Carp are being rebranded according to wikipedia "To make the fish more appealing to American consumers, the fish have been renamed silverfin or Kentucky tuna". Personally, I am looking forward to being able to order some seared "Kentucy Tuna".

hunting common carp is also a thing.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:23 AM on February 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


When those fuckers make it up to northern Ohio, I will be standing at the mouth of Lake Erie with a fully automatic machine gun and a box of ammo. You shall not pass!
posted by charred husk at 9:29 AM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Carp are fucking disgusting and they destroy everything they get into.

And this one time when I was younger, I was fishing for catfish on light tackle, and I fought a "MONSTER CATFISH" for like 30 minutes. I finally brought it in and it was a fucking 30 or 40 pound goddamned carp. Fuck them.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:29 AM on February 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


FUCKING CLOSE THE CHICAGO RIVER OFF FROM LAKE FUCKING MICHIGAN.

END OF STORY.
posted by edheil at 9:40 AM on February 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


When those fuckers make it up to northern Ohio, I will be standing at the mouth of Lake Erie with a fully automatic machine gun and a box of ammo. You shall not pass!

I have been there and the results were very ugly. Don't fuck around with carp.
posted by Copronymus at 9:40 AM on February 10, 2012


So fishing types, why isn't Asian carp good to eat...too bony? Is there any way to cook them that makes them more enjoyable?

Can't we get the bottomless American appetite to work for us for once? Turn Carp into Carpenade? (or CarpNuggets)?
posted by emjaybee at 9:41 AM on February 10, 2012


The obvious solution is to develope and deploy carp hunting drones.

Because the carp can't shoot back, or petition the UN, or send out press releases, we don't have to be nice about it.

The drone would be a simple wire controlled affair, with a tow cable, a human operator above the surface, and could employ any number of types of kill weapons. Many volts at many amps?

Since this would be a home brew effort, should only cost a few thousand for the first prototype, then significantly less after that.

Sounds like a need to sign up for Kick Starter.
posted by MikeWarot at 9:43 AM on February 10, 2012



FUCKING CLOSE THE CHICAGO RIVER OFF FROM LAKE FUCKING MICHIGAN.

END OF STORY.


Agreed on the first part. Disagree on the 2nd. Not even close to the end of story.
Carp eggs and carp spawn can hitch rides on bird feathers.
posted by ocschwar at 9:44 AM on February 10, 2012


So fishing types, why isn't Asian carp good to eat...too bony?

That's what people say, but it's just not true. Carp is delicious. Light and sweet, like catfish but more delicate. People don't eat them for the same reason people used to think tomatoes were poisonous. I've had it cooked all the ways any other fish might be cooked.

Why don't they just pull big, horizontal nets above water behind boats and let them jump into it?
posted by cmoj at 9:47 AM on February 10, 2012


I guess it's my turn to be that guy: was anyone else a little disturbed by the random slicing and wounding? I mean, I know it's hypocritical of me and all because I've been known to fish with a hook, but this video seemed a little cruel what with the blood and bashing and high maim to kill ratio.
posted by Think_Long at 10:17 AM on February 10, 2012


The Murray-Darling system has the same problem with introduced carp from the '20s. Little bastards stir up the sediment, turn the water to shit. Victoria has a law that if you catch it you can't return it to the water alive. Because that's one less motherfucking carp in the system.

Good luck to the people up in the midwest.
posted by Talez at 10:34 AM on February 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


It was my understanding that carp don't always make the menu mainly because they are filter feeders and can easily accumulate toxic substances in their bodies...making them a riskier bet to eat than other fish. Is there any truth to this?
posted by jnnla at 10:56 AM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The video of the guys getting water-skiing behind the boat, wearing home-made armour covered in fishhooks and smashing leaping carp with melee weapons needs to get archived by the library of congress. It is cultural gold.
posted by dazed_one at 11:09 AM on February 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


was anyone else a little disturbed by the random slicing and wounding? I mean, I know it's hypocritical of me and all because I've been known to fish with a hook, but this video seemed a little cruel what with the blood and bashing and high maim to kill ratio.

Well, they are in the process of destroying all the native ecosystems, so there is that small factor.

If there was a way to kill them all, the majority of the people in the areas involved would go for it. Once these fish get into the Great Lakes (and you *know* they will) it's going to be a disaster. They out-compete all native fish; as super-efficient filter-feeders they make it difficult for native fish spawn to grow. That's bad news. And since they don't eat bait or live foods, you can't fish for them effectively.
posted by EricGjerde at 11:15 AM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know some of these guys! (Also the guy who got smacked in the face by a leaping carp and won money on America's Funniest Home Videos? Neighbor.)

The state's been sponsoring events like "how many Asian carp can you catch in $TIMELIMIT" and contests to cook up the most delicious Asian carp dishes, in the hopes of creating capital-E Events so lots of people want to have carp-fishing-extravaganzas followed by cook-offs. If it got competitive, lots of little towns on the river could have events and there could be a series with a champion and beer sponsors and tourist dollars and LOTS OF DEAD CARP. All of which would be good things. Surely there is some 4th-tier sports channel willing to make this happen. I bet they could even get state and federal grants for it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:21 AM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think these guys have pretty much established that the way to suppress the carp is to run a fast boat and drag large nets right over the water to catch them as they leap. The spec is done. The rest is just the implementation,.
posted by ocschwar at 11:52 AM on February 10, 2012


Just give it some time; I'm sure some enterprising Midwesterner is currently designing or running a carp fertilizer pilot plant. We're just a few years away from buying Miracle Grow (Now with added Asian Carp!) at Home Depot.

As soon as that scales up, it'll compete with manure for farm field fertilzer. And probably smell just as bad.
posted by lstanley at 11:53 AM on February 10, 2012


lstanley: on the East Coast, you can get plant food enriched with fish processing waste. One of the products is called Neptune's Harvest. And yeah, that's too good to pass up. Fish are full of phosphorus.
posted by ocschwar at 11:57 AM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've heard that it is good to eat and that people are starting to do exactly that, but I imagine the media has terrified the public into thinking it's not for consumption.

I have been wondering if there's some way to turn zebra mussels into delicious little moules for my consumption, too.
posted by padraigin at 12:14 PM on February 10, 2012


If there was a way to kill them all, the majority of the people in the areas involved would go for it

Oh don't get me wrong, I'm looking at the upper Mississippi right now, and I would gladly participate in their eradication. I would just hope to do it with a bit less obvious suffering on the part of the ugly bastards.
posted by Think_Long at 2:06 PM on February 10, 2012


I assumed that the leaping fish were actually fish tossed back from the tow boat as part of a practical joke.... then one of my co-workers assured me they really do that...

Perhaps my suggestion of a wired submarine drone to hunt them down was a bit conservative... we need something far quicker and more active.

If you were to actively kill anything swimming over size X, would this help? How big do they have to get before they breed?
posted by MikeWarot at 2:15 PM on February 10, 2012


I tried some fried carp in China a couple of years ago. It was delicious.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:20 PM on February 10, 2012


Market their edibility and the problem will solve itself
posted by Renoroc at 3:04 PM on February 10, 2012


The classic carp is widely eaten in Europe, raised in farm ponds, and the focus of a serious catch and release sport fishery. The attention paid to bass and trout in the USA, in Europe they pay to carp. People look at me funny when i tell them that we Americans call carp "trash fish" and poison lakes to get rid of them. While I am not a major fan of it, in Hungary, Czech Republic, and Poland it is the main fish eaten.

The Asian silver carp, on the other hand, eats all the aquatic vegetation used by other fish to protect their spawn, grows to huge sizes (with commensurate appetite) doesn't take bait on rod and reel, and is so sensitive to vibrations you can't easily trawl net them. They are way to bony to enjoy and the meat - I have eaten it - is repellent. You want fishy? You want greasy and fishy? Greasy fishy hair brush texture? No thanks.
posted by zaelic at 10:15 PM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man that water skiing thing looked fun. I think they'd do better with Jai-lai thingies, though. Or Lacrosse sticks.
posted by lysdexic at 8:14 PM on February 11, 2012


I wonder if fish wheels would be a partial solution to asian carp. You'd have to pay people to seperate the carp from the native fish but one would think there would be enough value in the protein, at least in the inital stages, to fund your workers even if you just turned it into cat/dog food.
posted by Mitheral at 8:23 AM on February 13, 2012


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