by Free Speech on August 11, 2011

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Experts on invasive species and the environment have been increasingly concerned in recent years about the possibility that the jumping Asian carp would find its way into Lake Michigan and inland Wisconsin waterways.

Now, that fear appears to have become a reality.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources confirmed Thursday that a bighead carp was caught by an angler last month in the Lower Wisconsin River, south of the Prairie du Sac dam.

Traces of silver carp also were found last month in the St. Croix River by using a new technology that detects the DNA of aquatic species. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 22 out of 50 water samples tested positive for silver carp.

“Their presence is not a big surprise because their numbers have grown tremendously in the lower Mississippi and Illinois river systems and stray fish have reach Wisconsin before,” said Bob Wakeman, who coordinates the DNR’s efforts to prevent and control the spread of aquatic invasive species, in a statement. “But it’s a big concern because of the potential harm they can do.”

For extensive background on the Asian carp, click here.

The silver and bighead carps are two species of Asian carp. Bighead and silver carp destroy and disturb the natural habitat of waterways because of their ability to eat a significant amount of plankton daily.

For example, the bighead carp can eat 20 percent of its body weight daily. The fish grows to 60 inches and 110 pounds.

While the silver carp isn’t as large, it has a tendency to jump out of the water when it hears noises, a habit that has injured anglers and boaters in carp-infested waters of the lower Mississippi. The silver carp can weigh between 50 and 110 pounds.

A sporting event, of sorts, has begun around these jumping fish. Known as the Redneck Fishing Tournament, the annual event was begun several years ago by Betty and Kenny DeFord. Held along the silver carp-infested waters of an Illinois River tributary, the Redneck Fishing Tournament rewards the anglers who catch the most jumping fish with a neck. No fishing poles are allowed.

To see a video of the event, click here.

In a statement Thursday, the DNR asked anglers who catch a species of Asian carp to help contain the spread of this invasive species by taking a photo, putting the fish on ice, and bringing it a DNR office.

Read more:

Hang On!!! Kiss your Bass Goodbye!!!



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