An unwanted fish that became an internet sensation for the way it jumps out of the water has been found by a commercial fisherman in Pool 10 on the Mississippi River near Guttenberg. D.N.R. fisheries biologist, Karen Osterkamp says the fisherman found one 11-pound silver carp.
“We know they’ve been present in the Mississippi River and it was just a matter of time that we did confirm that they were here in Pool 10. We seen them in the lower pools below Guttenberg and in then up above it in the upper pools, Minnesota has seen some and Wisconsin,” Osterkamp says.
She says it’s believe the fish made it into the Pool 10 during flooding. The silver carp were brought in to control algae in fish farms in the 1970’s, but then spread and can wipe out native fish. They also can be a big problem for recreational activities on the water.
“The concern, especially with the silvers is their tendency to jump,” Osterkamp says. She says boats or jet skis make noise that disturbs the fish and causes them to jump and they could actually injure someone just by jumping from the water. Osterkamp says the infestation on the Mississippi River is not as bad as the Illinois River, where the fish are quite thick.
Electric barriers have been put up in some areas to try and stop the fish from expanding their territory. Osterkamp says that’s been considered on the Mississippi, but there are some drawbacks. “They are very, very expensive, and the downside is that they aren’t effective in high water flood years…and it would also prevent native species from moving through too, they don’t just stop the carp,” Osterkamp says.
Silver carp and bighead carp can both be a problem, and at this point Osterkamp says they want people to report any time they see the fish.) “I think the most important thing is to get the word out so people recognize these invasives and watch them,” Osterkamp says. She says if they do find the fish are reproducing and concentrations are reported, they might be able to take some action to get rid of them.
Silver carp have previously been reported in the Missouri, Big Sioux, Little Sioux, Chariton, and Des Moines rivers and East Okoboji, Spirit, Elk, Lost Island, and Snyder Bend lakes in Iowa. It’s believe they’ve gotten into many of these water bodies during times when there was flooding. It is not believed that the silver carp will reproduce in the lake situations.