Behind the laughter, giddiness, and child-like enjoyment exhibited in this video lies a lesson in just how bad the Asian carp invasion of U.S. waters has gotten.
The video was filmed during a river outing near Victoria, Ill. The carp are launching themselves out of the water in response to motor noise, a defensive strategy they are known for. Although amusing to those in the video, the action can be extremely dangerous — many human and fish interactions have resulted in bruises, broken bones, and concussions on the part of the boat occupants.
Asian carp are the equivalent of feral hogs in that they have no natural predators, eat almost anything, decimate ecosystems, and are costly; not only in terms of what they do to our native waterways but financially as well. A proposed barrier between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River that would keep the carp from entering the lakes has a estimated price tag of $15 billion.
Carp, like feral hogs and many other invasive species, are most likely here for a while.