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Electro-fishing boats show dangerous asain carp population growth

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WEST FELICIANA PARISH – There's a threat lurking in freshwater rivers from West Feliciana Parish all the way to the coast.

Asian Carp, an invasive species, are taking over, outnumbering native fish. It doesn't take long for boaters to notice the fish. They fling themselves into the air.

“They do injure boaters and damage equipment and they're definitely a public safety hazard,” said Tim Ruth, a Wildlife and Fisheries biologist.

Wildlife and Fisheries agents are now taking extreme measures to track how bad the problem is with the use of electro-fishing boats.

“It's going to produce a current that will go out of the boat and loops. The current will travel from the water to the fish tissue and basically cause a convulsion in the fish,” said Ruth.

This causes the fish to jump into the air, and they're not small.

“We see them 40, 60 pounds,” said Ruth.

The fish came from up north, where the invasion is a lot more serious than it is here. But, the fear is it could get to that point.

“If you came here 30 years ago, 45 years ago you would see more buffalo and paddlefish. Today we are likely to only see silver carp,” said Ruth.

Wildlife and Fisheries know this is an issue, possibly one without a long term solution.


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