If you’ve been following our previous conversations on Invasive Species, you may remember the feature about Carp. Carp is an invasive, non-native fish species that out-compete native fish and destroy water quality. There are a variety of species including: grass carp, common carp, and the more recently discovered Black Carp.

From the USGS:

“The Black Carp is a bottom-dwelling molluscivore that has been used by U.S. fish farmers to prey on and control disease-carrying snails in their farm ponds…”

What is unique about the Black Carp is that they feed primarily on mussels. This means that the already fragile populations of protected or near-endangered native mussels in Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois waterways face more challenges as their populations recover from decline.


How Did They Get Here?


Some carp species were imported for their ability to thrive in muddy environments like rice fields where they would naturally control the mosquito populations; a few bad rain storms and a broken levee was all it took for the carp to get a foothold in the surrounding waterways.

According to the USGS, the Black Carp was first brought into the United States in the early 1970s as a “contaminant” in imported Grass Carp stocks.


How to Remove Them

Carp are foraging fish and while they put up an exceptional fight on traditional gear, they are difficult to bait and hook. To put a bigger dent in the population, anglers can trade their rod and reel for a bow and arrow. Bowfishing is not a new technique but, with the increased interest in culling the carp population, guides have taken the initiative to help us non-boat owners take down some carp.

How to Get the $100 Black Carp Bounty

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that Black Carp caught in watersheds upstream from Cairo, Illinois (including all of Illinois waters), specifically in the Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, and Mississippi rivers and their tributaries may be eligible for this $100 bounty. This applies to Black Carp caught in adjoining states, like Indiana and Kentucky. Reimbursements will be limited to 10 awards per person per month, subject to funding availability.

Love to fish for Invasive Species? Sign up for Venku’s Invasive Fish Rodeo this Fall. Help preserve and protect our waterways, while winning great prizes from participating partners.

Read More:

$100 Bounty for Every Black Carp Caught in IL, IN, & KY | https://wkdq.com/100-bounty-for-every-black-carp-caught-in-illinois-indiana-and-kentucky/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

USGS Fact Sheet on Mylopharyngodon piceus | https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=573