Asian carp a growing concern for fisherman
WEST FELICIANA PARISH - There's a growing threat in waterways. An invasive species is taking over, putting boaters and anglers in danger. They're Asian carp, and they're not afraid of some fresh air.
“They're 30 to 40-pound fish and they can elevate themselves 10 or 20 feet, no problem,” said fisherman Richard Durrett.
No problem for them, but a problem for everyone above water.
“I talked to a guy a year ago who had a tooth missing, a carp busted him in the mouth,” said Durrett. “I've been hit in the eye myself. I had a black eye; it cut it pretty badly.”
The fish aren't afraid to jump around boats, in fact, they're prone to it.
“Boat traffic makes them very frigidity,” explained Durrett. “They're very dangerous, very dangerous fish.”
But the danger doesn't stop there.
“They spawn two to three times a year, and they law up to 3 million eggs per fish,” said Durrett.
Asian carp is taking over. The species feed on algae and plankton, like other fish. However, since there are so many of them, they're eating up all the food other native fish need.
“This is on the endangered species list already, it has been for a quiet a few years,” said Durrett referring to a spoon billed catfish.
Since Asian carps’ only predator is an alligator, Durrett is committed to catching them. He drops hoop nets into rivers in West Feliciana Parish trying to rid of them. He then sells the fish to people who can either use them as bait for crawfish, or to eat. That way, everything above and below the waters will be safe.
Fisherman believe the fish were first introduced in Kansas to keep algae down, and they spread from there.