Asian Carp A Treat and a Threat

An invasive species of fish called the Asian carp threatens to destroy the ecosystem of America’s waterways. Currently the fish are confined to rivers that feed into the Mississippi and the Great Lakes, but the migrating potential of the invaders is so threatening that the Army has been brought in, the Army Corps of Engineers that is, to build some kind of barrier or dam to actually separate the feeder basins where the carp live from the major waterways.

So what’s the problem with the fish anyway?  They are big and edible. What’s not to like? Well, the problem is that they like what other fish like namely algae and zooplankton, food that sturgeon and other native fish need to survive. The carp are so voracious and such hearty eaters that they leave nothing for their fish mates. If nothing is done to stop them, the native fish species will become extinct.

So what to do about the problem? I have several unique, out of the box solutions. First, since the carp apparently have no natural enemies, some should be introduced. And the one that immediately comes to mind is the alligator. I recommend we dump loads of gators into the rivers where carp breed. Secondly, the Army Corps of Engineers should contract out some work to the Swamp People, the Ax Men, Bear Grylls from Man v. Wild and Jeremy Wade of River Monsters.  They’ll catch them; Bear will do it bare handed and eat them raw.  I hope he likes Asian carp because there are a lot of them. Now if we can just keep Jeremy from catching and releasing the carp back into the rivers, we’ll be ok. In fact, Jeremy should bring along some of the other River Monsters he has caught from other countries and release them into the Illinois River. There’s the Indian goonch, the sawfish, bull sharks and the tiger fish, to name a few. I guarantee these river monsters would gladly take out the carp.

I have a novel idea that I can’t believe no one else has thought of – jelly fish. Yes, jelly fish are abundant and frankly a nuisance.  I know they live in salt water, but what they would give to live in fresh water! And in packs, they love to sting other fish. The Asian carp might mistake them for plankton, and boy would they be in for a stinging surprise.

Finally, Asian carp should become a national treat, as American as apple pie and corn on the cob. We could start making fish sticks out of them.  Kids would love them. And why not a new dish: Asian carp and chips?

I say, the only way to solve a problem is to think outside the box – in this case outside the river. And by the way, if anyone from the State Game and Fisheries Departments, or the Army Corps of Engineers is reading this post, I am available for consultation.


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