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Thread: Rivers Full of Carp

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Rivers Full of Carp

    There are folks in Illinois who have found a way to sell them - see the attached article from the Alton Telegraph newspaper from Monday 3/15/10:

    Business hopes to sell invasive carp to Asians
    March 15, 2010 6:10 AM
    By DAN BRANNAN
    PEARL ILLINOIS - Big River Fish Corp. in Pearl and area fishermen are doing their part to make use of the overabundance of Asian carp in both the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.

    Big River Fish is purchasing Asian carp from area fishermen and distributing them throughout the United States, and the company soon may be sending them abroad as far away as China and Japan. In China, Asian carp are considered a delicacy.

    Rick Smith and Lisa McKee are the joint owners of Big River Fish in Pearl. Big River Fish has been in negotiations with Chinese and Japanese business leaders about exporting Asian carp and is hoping for some type of agreement in the matter soon.

    "We have been working on this agreement for many years," McKee said. "If this goes through, it would bring employment throughout the state of Illinois. Fishermen would be hired on, and it would help the Pearl area. Pearl has been a depressed area in the past. We would need millions of pounds of Asian carp each year if this goes through."

    Ross Harano is leading international marketing efforts for Big River Fish. He said the company is working to develop clients in China.

    "The Asian carp in China are farm-grown, and the water is not as pure as here," he said. "This is a tremendous opportunity to turn a fish not viewed as environmentally friendly into an economic engine. It's miraculous. The Asian carp are very edible."

    Presently, Big River is purchasing about 30,000 pounds of Asian carp a week. The invasive species, which is not native to North America, is blamed for a number of problems in the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, where scientists fear they may harm populations of native fish. Wildlife officials also are working to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes, where it is feared they could decimate the lucrative fishing industry.

    Big River Fish also exports other river fish - buffalo, yellow carp and catfish.

    "We are going to hire a lot of fishermen and create a lot of jobs if we reach this agreement with the Chinese," Harano said. "The fish have to be filleted, washed and frozen. It is an interesting project for the region.

    "This is an interesting program," he said. "No one else is doing this right now. The message that we have is we are basically taking a product - Asian carp - and utilizing it as a value-added product to provide income for the company and hire more people here to process Asian carp to export."

    Harano has an interesting background, once serving as director of trade for the state of Illinois.

    Jim Beasley, owner of Beasley Fish Market in Grafton, said fishing for Asian carp is more of a sideline role for his crew now, but it has become a dominant species in the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. He said if Big River Fish's needs expand, it probably will increase their incentive to catch Asian carp.

    "It would be nice to sell more Asian carp," he said. "We typically fish for Asian carp with nets. Each net is 100 yards long and has different depths, either 8- or 16-foot deep. We might tie three or four nets together to get them and drive them and beat on the boat, then pick them up. Some days are easy to catch a lot, and other days we have to do several sets to get them."

    Beasley said he wasn't sure what effect catching more Asian carp would have on the overall fish population in the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, but he said it might make it easier for his crew to get fish to the market.

    "It is hard to fish for catfish and buffalo around the Asian carp this time of year," he said.

    McKee didn't put a specific number on how many pounds of Asian carp they would need, but she said fishermen would be able to fish every day, including all winter and through the summer. Also, she said Big River Fish would expand its freezers and processing lines, and would hire more employees to process the fish.

    Jason Bak, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said anything like this type of project that would reduce the number of Asian carp in the two area rivers would be positive because of the present overpopulation.

    Harano pointed out that if Big River Fish orchestrates pulling 30 million pounds of Asian carp out of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, it should sure make a difference in taking them out of the biomass.

    "It should allow other fish like buffalo, carp and walleye to come back in the river," he said. "The Asian carp are too large of a biomass right now. The answer is to eat them and find a market."

  2. Default Aim low and let go...

    We have quite a large problem with the carp in my neck of the woods. They tend to overeat the available bottom resources and put a strain on the other species we prefer to fish for.

    I've yet to find a better removal method than bowhunting them.
    The bowfishing rig is inexpensive and once you get the hang of it you can pull them out hand over fist.

    Although some folks might not think this method is very sporting, I would like to note that I did in fact spend quite a lot of time trying to intice them to take a fly...and had ZERO luck.

  3. #13

    Default Re: Rivers Full of Carp

    Quote Originally Posted by basher View Post
    smoke the carp, they taste pretty good then.
    tried that, could not get them lit....
    Dave Watts
    dmwphoto@mac.com

    To me, the journey of learning is almost more fun than arriving at the destination of knowing.

  4. Default Re: Rivers Full of Carp

    Hi All,
    Surely they could be fooled into taking a fly other plankton feeders are ! Mullet, milkfish, etc. Imitate algae.

    The commercial exploitation and finding a market for them is all , as the man said, about perception. Market them with an attractive name .Start with low prices , get celebrity cooks involved, overseas food programmes ? etc. etc . It's not rocket science .

    They sell spur DOGFISH here in the UK as " Rock salmon" . What do you prefer ? How about "Riversteak"

    Only a matter of time.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Rivers Full of Carp

    There are lots of folks addressing the asian carp in the Illinois River and Mississippi River by attacking all aspects - setting up businesses to buy/process/sell locally, working on exporting to asia, bringing in specialty chefs to teach the general community (and restaurants) how to prepare the fish, and generally encouraging folks to treat the invasion as a new resource to be managed and consumed. A couple of articles from the newspaper of one of the local town's on the rivers edge are listed below:

    Group want to start fish plant in Grafton | fish, grafton, carp - Local News - The Telegraph


    A silver(fin) lining | parola, chef, fish - Local News - The Telegraph

    'Yes, we can' eat Asian carp, chef says | parola, chef, fish - Local News - The Telegraph

  6. #16

    Default Re: Rivers Full of Carp

    Are the impacts of commercial fishing going to have any effects on native species like it does on all other fisheries. As far as eating them, there was a time not too long ago when Lobsters were served to prisoners, and Tuna were considered garbage. Seafood markets are bound to change, just have a celebrity endorse them on Facebook and they'll be knee deep in carp in minutes.

  7. #17

    Default Re: Rivers Full of Carp

    I dunno if there is really an attractive name to give carp.. I do know that if you cook them right they are pretty fantastic actually so that lends creedance to getting pro-cooks involved..

    But the name... hmm.... Asian Yummyfish... There's a name that will sell!!

  8. #18

    Default Re: Rivers Full of Carp

    We have a lot of carp where I live to in the river and local lakes. They get huge in Northern Indiana I never would of thought to eat them though.

    I heard they taste really fishy and oily is that true?

  9. #19

    Default Re: Rivers Full of Carp

    Time for McDonalds to invent the Filet-o-Carp.
    "You're not old, you've simply aquired a patina." - Swirlchaser

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  11. #20

    Default Re: Rivers Full of Carp

    I've actually eaten carp and it's really pretty good. Like the guy says, it's very similar to cod. It doesn't taste fishy like catfish. I'd take carp over catfish any day.............

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