Asian Carp Response in the Midwest
How can the public help prevent the spread of Asian carp?
Public involvement is essential to preventing the spread of Asian carp to the Great Lakes. Here are some ways you can help:
- Make sure you don't move live fish from one location to another.
- Never use wild-caught baitfish in waters other than where they came from.
- Learn the difference between juvenile Asian carp and Juvenile Gizzard Shad, which look nearly identical.
- Drain lake or river water from live wells and bilges before leaving any body of water.
- Learn what to do if you find an Asian carp in the Great Lakes or its tributaries.
- Teach others the above steps.
Can I eat Asian carp?
Yes. Asian carp of all types have white, firm, mild, flesh, which make for excellent table fare. They do have intramuscular bones in the filets, which some dislike. Asian carp are low on the food chain, fast growing, low in fat, and they are not usually bottom feeders, all properties of fishes that are lower in contaminants. USGS and the Missouri Department of Conservation have jointly produced data on Missouri River fishes that have shown bigheaded carp to be generally low in contaminants (lower in contaminants than flathead catfish and common carp from the same water). Nevertheless, one should remain aware of advisories on particular waters. These advisories are available through state environmental agencies.