Lafayette

Jul 12, 2012 6:44 PM by Steven Albritton

Asian Carp Comes to Town

The Asian Carp has caused issues in other states and may do the same here in Louisiana.

"This fish feeds at the bottom of the food chain which makes it particularly dangerous because it can over-populate and out-compete the local species of fish for habitat and available food resources," Bayou Operations Coordinator Paul LaHaye said.

If that happens, a decline in the local population of fish could happen. The Asian Carp is an aggressive fish that can grow to 40 pounds. They have also been known to leap out of the water when startled by passing boats. LaHaye was out testing sediment in the Vermilion when he had a close encounter with the fish.

"When we turned the boat around this fish came flying out of the water and whacked me in the shoulder. It glanced off and then started flopping around in the boat. It jumped probably eight or ten feet high and traveled 15 feet in the air," LaHaye said.

Once this fish has found in an area it is nearly impossible for them to be eradicated. The only thing that can be done is containment of the population through unlimited fishing of the carp. LaHaye is ready to get back on the water.

"I hope I have time to catch another one so I can see how it tastes," LaHaye said.  

This problem is actually attracting more predators to the area. Bull Sharks have been sighted in the basin. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Agency says that the sharks are merely following the food source. Right now the sharks haven't posed any threat to humans.

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