Skip to comments.Asian Carp Fish Kill Near 500,000 on Cumberland River
Posted on 04/25/2014 11:54:43 PM PDT by Paul R.
Scientists are studying the cause of a massive fish kill in western Kentucky, which state wildlife officials are saying is the largest kill of its kind recorded.
(Excerpt) Read more at wkms.org ...
"So the bad news; it really smells like dead fish around Barkley Dam. The good news, a bunch of silver carp have died. Maybe we are on to some type of natural control mechanism."
I'm trying to not think about what 1/2 million dead LARGE fish smell like. And so much for any thought of driving all the way to Barkley Dam to go fishing anytime soon!
I think I'll pick some other location to go fishing today...
When there is a massive carp die off, unless it is a specific biological problem for the carp, that doesn’t really bode well for other fish species in the water either. IIRC, carp would live just about anywhere.
Since only silver carp were affected, you can rule out water quality issues. You can rule out chemical spills. Basically rule out things that would have typically killed shad (easiest fish to kill) and all other species. The likely cause is a viral infection. It is possible that during the high water, a higher than normal density of silver carp came up the Cumberland River. They all congregated below the dam. With a super high density in a small area, a communicable disease quickly spread. This lead to the the fish kill. To possibly verify this theory, a few live but sick silver carp (fish found swimming lethargically) at the waters surface, where taken to Frankfort this afternoon. These fish will be examined by fish pathologist at Kentucky State University.
We talked to a few anglers fishing in the Tailwaters today (amongst the dead fish)... The report is Striped bass, white bass and catfish are still biting. One boat had 7 nice size striped bass in about two hours.
As for shad, my uncle had a recipie for them. He called it "planked shad". Nail the fish to a soft plank, and leave it in the sun. When the fish falls off the plank, pull the nail, take the plank in and eat it (all of the flavor, none of the bones).
That just can’t smell good.
Apparently lots more are up on the banks, as the water has gone down ~10 feet recently. Yuck.
Most of the video at the link below is from the KY Dam tailwaters, with a few shots of the situation below Barkley Dam: I would not be surprised if the reporterette (or anyone else) could not keep from gagging while over at Barkley.
I was thinking of going to the KY Dam or Barkley Dam tailwaters sometime, to collect a few fresh carp from the snaggers, to use as cut catfish bait, or even garden fertilizer, but, uh, maybe not...
I met a lady there who lost her husband after five years of eating fish every
week. he never gave any attention to the warnings and died of cancer. There
are many stories like these from the locals near the river. Sledge from a spill
that happened in the early 1900's still exists on the bottom of the Ohio, also.
Haha - yeah, I’ve heard that same “eat the plank” recipe for several types of not-so-great fish to eat.
Actually, the Asian carp are claimed to be decent eating, but bony unless filleted correctly (leaving about 1/2 the meat as throw-away) - but the bones might not deter my Asian wife at all... I’ve read that operations are springing up to export carp meat to Asia.
My own speculation is that the many new record blue catfish being caught may be in part to them feeding on the hyper-abundant carp. Not that I am interested in such: It’s the smaller channel cat “fiddlers” that are “good eatin’.”
An experiment by the feds? People are frantic trying to prevent them from entering the Great Lakes because they would destroy the lakes. Maybe the feds released a bacteria that only kills Asian carp.
Cat fish LOVE dead fish....
Nah, you’ve just gotta watch which waters you fish in (to eat from), not eat fish all the time, and mostly stick with eating the smaller fish. Granted, I would not eat fish out of the Ohio River on a bet. There are some really nice clean smaller lakes in S. Illinois and S. Indiana, too.
Most of the mercury in ponds and smaller lakes is actually from old coal burning plants and such, and much of it is slowly diminishing, with some new ponds actually showing quite low levels. (If in doubt I e-mail the fisheries guys and get the data from them.) An interesting fact is that most of the mercury in waters not contaminated years ago or by some particular local source is coming from, get this, China.
On the other hand, some of the locals are not too bright. In one area near us that was contaminated by an old coal power plant, the local fish & wildlife service put up signs warning of the mercury, but locals fished those ponds anyway. So, the fish & wildlife people exterminated all the fish, but the locals promptly restocked ‘em and commenced fishing again. Finally, the WMA (Wildlife Management Area) and the local bass club got together and built a really nice big pond with good access, so most people go there. The only thing I’d hesitate to eat out of there would be a large bass or (if it is still there) the 50 lb. blue cat from the river some guy claims to have put in that pond.
Unlikely - the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service works closely with the State level people. However, the best case might be one in which the Asian carp are dying from something the native fish have resistance to. Sort of like the ending of “War of the Worlds”, IF we are lucky.
I think it’s amazing all these invasive species can do so well. If we travel to other countries we need shots to protect us from germs in that country. But these invasive species aren’t even slowed down. They wipe everything out.
An Asian carp traveled to this country and killed half a million people?? This is absolutely shocking news!!
Maybe all that money we invested in biological warfare is finally paying off?
I thought I’d read awhile back that the Asian carp are taking our waters over killing out other species like the crappie, bass, catfish, spoonbill, etc.???? So maybe this isn’t such a bad thing?
....”People are frantic trying to prevent them from entering the Great Lakes because they would destroy the lakes”....
That’s right...I knew the Asian Carp sounded familiar to me, and not exactly in a good light. I’m here in the East so I recall the ‘very real concern’ about just that.
Yes, when I just now re-read that headline, I started chuckling, and came back here to see if anyone noticed the same thing... Of course, “fish” or “carp” could be plural, so the mind can conjure up a real 60’s style Japanese horror movie! (Maybe the “really big” carp organize and push a massive wave of water over - well, hmmm, hard to find 500,000 people along the Cumberland River... uh, I can tell it’s way late and time to hit the sack!)
The way the headline is written, it sounds as though the asian carp killed 500K people. It’s a bit like the difference between: “Let’s eat Grandma!” and “Let’s eat, Grandma!”
“but the bones might not deter my Asian wife at all.”
Does she cook Beltfish for you? Talk about bones! But an Asian dish that I love. Cut it up, and twice fry in my wok.
Indeed, the local fisheries biologists are hopeful that if this stays specific to the Asian carp, it would be a good thing. The Asian carp are highly prolific, get large, and feed at the bottom of the food chain, therefor crowding out other species, especially the young of other species.
Now, if you want to watch something really goofy, the carp do provide a certain sort of challenge / entertainment for some crazy guys:
The “Peoria Carp Hunters” have a whole series of videos posted - what I can’t figure out is how they (the carp hunters) have not killed themselves yet.
Right. I always remember the title in a “Letters” section of a newspaper: “Reader upset over dog eating Filipinos”.
No, I guess I should ask her. :-)
LOL! Punctuation saves lives.
It’s the Snakeheads that are ravaging some of the commercial fish populations in the lower Potomac and tributary estuaries. I’m not sure how bad they are over in the Chesapeake Bay. (my old fishing grounds, long ago and far away...)
Too bad y’all don’t have blue crab in there—the crawdads should be the size of Maine lobster after that feast.
Oh, my. Something is targeting Asian Carp? How long before we hear cries of ‘fishism’?
You are ascribing foresight and intelligence to a federal agency. Please.
Now if only the virus (if that is what is causing the kill) also helped kill off our beloved “snake fish”.
It actually is not easy for invasive species to become established. They do have a hard time at first, before they become acclimated. A lot like us when we travel, in fact.
Of course, with invasive species, we don't want to give them the chance to acclimate in the first place.
I read the headline and thought that the fish were becoming murderous, like the avians in the movie, “The Birds.”
I guess we are still safe from fish attacks.
The indigenous fish are racist. We must remove the dam immediately at it is a barrier to the integration of the Asian carp’s success. We must preserve our environment for our new Asian overlords.
I just watched an episode of Diner, Drive Inns & Dives that featured a restaurant that was well know for it’s fried carp. They had a way of cutting it and deep frying it so the bones were not an issue and it’s been a popular item.
Maybe the committed suicide in reaction to this post:
Asian carp name offends some Asian-Americans
The troublesome fish currently known as Asian carp may get a new name in Minnesota over concern that the current one casts people from Asian cultures in a negative light.
Those are my thoughts. These are the fish that get excited and start jumping out of the water. They have killed and injured people in boats.
One Thanksgiving, he had soaked the fish in brine and changed the water often, trying to leach the muddy flavor out, stuffed and baked it like we commonly did with large striped bass. We had a large gathering that year and it was just one of the many dishes for dinner.
The meat was beautiful, flaky, firm, and tasted distinctly like mud. Oh well...
The people in the restaurant raved about the carp, and Guy Fieri loved it too. You could probably find the episode on YouTube just search for Diners...etc. and the word carp.
Hurrah! Whatever happened bottle it! They have been trying
kill the suckers off for years with little luck in the great lakes!
The US isn’t the only place with an invasive fish problem. When I was in Japan, they were complaining about the bass and bluegills from the US. The bluegills were actually introduced by the emperor himself, and he apologized for that.
That is one bad-ass carp.
Actually looked for it. It’s an older episode, season 5 episode 5 Joe Tess Place.
Yes, I’m afraid that our predecessors were not environmentally conscious, and introduced a lot of species where they should never have been present. I’m not blaming them; they really did not know the harm they would cause.
In Berkeley, CA, there is an arboretum where you can see the plant species native to NorCal. The familiar landscape of CA would look quite different without the ubiquitous ground cover of invasive oats.
Estuaries are tidewater, open to the ocean on one end, with fresh water entering near the headwaters.
As a result, you get a variety of critters adapted to one, the other, or even both environments (salt and fresh water), but more generally, best suited to the brackish water we fished in.
Those (yellow carp) are beautiful fish, and would be better than starvation, but generally those carp tasted like marsh mud.
I don't doubt what Guy Fieri was eating was good, I enjoy watching his show and have little doubt he likes good, basic, food.
I'm thinking more along the lines of buying a pontoon boat and offering shotgunners morning and afternoon shooting trips.......
Slow pressure cook them and the bones are soft enough to eat . . . like canned sardines.
I think the owner said he went through a thousand pounds a week. He got them from all over the country so I am thinking maybe farm raised - if anyone even does that.
I don’t know if anyone does, but if you can control the diet, you can control the flavor to some extent (or eliminate undesirable flavors).