Officials in the Iowa Great Lakes Area are considering installing an electric fence to keep out Asian Carp, which made their way up the Missouri River during last year’s flooding. Asian Carp are a fish that are famous for jumping out of the water, and can injure boaters and skiers. But it’s not just a problem for the Iowa Great Lakes. Chad Dolan, Fisheries Biologist at Lake Darling State Park, says there is carp our in our area waterways too, especially in the southern portion of Southeast Iowa. While there isn’t as much concern for boaters and skiers being injured in our waterways, the fish do hurt populations of sport fish. The Asian Carp is a fast growing fish that feeds on plankton, which many sport fish feed on when they are young. This could lead to reduced populations of popular fishing targets.
Dolan says if a market for the Asian Carp started to take hold, commercial fishing could keep their populations in check. But he says most people here aren’t interested because the carp natural to our area aren’t very tasty. Asian Carp do have a market in Asia where they are prized as a food source.
Dolan tells us he’s tried Asian Carp, and says its very good meat. For more on the Asian Carp, and how their breeding habits could be their own undoing, listen to our In Touch program tomorrow.