INDIANA (WTHI) – The Asian Carp problem isn’t getting any better.
Many states, including Illinois and Indiana, have resorted to bowfishing tournaments and the like to get rid of the pests.
But they’re not going away any time soon.
Some forty years after they first appeared in the Mississippi, the best experts can hope is to slow their takeover, and to keep them out of the rivers that connect to the great lakes.
But their infestation is getting worse by the month.
News 10 spoke to government officials to talk about their the plan of action.
It’s a war you might not know we’re fighting.
Asian carp, otherwise known as nasty nuisances here in the Wabash Valley. An invasive fish that can grow to lengths of five feet and weigh more than a hundred pounds.
Some of the worst in the Land of Lincoln and even more heading toward the Hoosier state.
For local government, the fight started in Illinois as the carp swam up the Mississippi River.
“We have barriers set up. Electrical barriers set up,” said U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly.
These carp eat up to 20 percent of their body weight in plankton every day.
Here’s the problem.
That plankton is the primary food source for most fish, not just this breed.
“These carp grow sixty, eighty, ninety pounds. And basically eat up all the native species. We’re trying to protect our own,” said Senator Donnelly.
Stopping the carp in their tracks isn’t an easy task, but it’s something that must be done before they invade even larger bodies of water, like the Great Lakes, and become firmly planted in our ecosystem.
But officials say their complicated system set up in Illinois will hopefully curb the craving carp.
“We have a ladder system, where they’re shut off so they can’t get through. So it’s almost like a two, three, four defenses. That if for some reason, our first defense line doesn’t work, which it should, we have another one and another one,” said Senator Donnelly.
But with no natural predators in North America, and almost insatiable appetites, it’s a teeter totter in this eco-war.
Experts say it’s crucial to prevent these carp from entering the great lakes.
Once established in an ecosystem they are virtually impossible to eradicate.
Adult Asian Carp have no natural predators in North America.
And females lay approximately half a million eggs each time they spawn.