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Become a Smarter Angler: Learn How to Identify the Invasive Asian Carp

November 21, 2013
Become a Smarter Angler: Learn How to Identify the Invasive Asian Carp - 3

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) recently confirmed that environmental DNA (eDNA) from the invasive Asian silver carp has been found in two water samples collected from the Ohio River. Anglers concerned with the nation's fisheries should pay attention to this finding. The rapidly reproducing invasive Asian carp (including bighead) pose a severe environmental threat by gobbling most of the algae needed by indigenous species. Originally imported for aquaculture, the fish escaped into the wild decades ago.

Unlike DNA taken from an actual fish, eDNA serves as an early warning of sorts by identifying traces of genetic material such as scales, excrement or mucous. Scientists note that eDNA does not confirm the presence of live or dead Asian carp because such genetic material can be transferred through bilge water, storm sewers or waterfowl droppings.

Of course, anglers can unwittingly contribute to the Asian carp plague by transporting these fish from one water body to another. It's illegal to do so, but the first step to avoiding this major no-no is to learn how to differentiate invasive Asian carp from indigenous grass carp and common carp. The above video from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lays it out clearly.

Comments (3)

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from 4everAutumn wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

Bigheads are some of my favorite fish on a smoker. They have light meat and taste a bit like ham. If we could get them to bite a hook, I think people would find them worth using.

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from Tim House wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

I was going to ask if they were edible, and Louzianajones partially answered. Just thinking if they could make it commercially viable, maybe the incentive would be out there to help control them through the public.

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from Louzianajones wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

These things make excellent pet food. I process the meat in a pressure canner in pint jars. This method softens the many bones to an edible consistency. My dogs and cats love it.

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from Louzianajones wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

These things make excellent pet food. I process the meat in a pressure canner in pint jars. This method softens the many bones to an edible consistency. My dogs and cats love it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim House wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

I was going to ask if they were edible, and Louzianajones partially answered. Just thinking if they could make it commercially viable, maybe the incentive would be out there to help control them through the public.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 4everAutumn wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

Bigheads are some of my favorite fish on a smoker. They have light meat and taste a bit like ham. If we could get them to bite a hook, I think people would find them worth using.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

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