Skip to comments.Illinois DNR hires chef to show how tasty Asian carp can be
Posted on 09/22/2011 12:54:09 PM PDT by Red Badger
It is a stark reminder that the Asian carp infestation that has overwhelmed stretches of river in the Mississippi River basin and is now threatening the waters of the Great Lakes isn't going to go away anytime soon: The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has hired a Louisiana chef for a made-for-media event this week to demonstrate just how good these fish can be to eat.
It's part of the Target Hunger Now campaign, a state-sponsored humanitarian effort to turn the jumbo jumping carp into "healthy, ready-to-serve meals" for the needy. The program also provides venison to the poor.
It already has provided thousands of meals to needy children and families, but this is about more than feeding the poor.
Illinois is in a protracted battle with its neighboring Great Lakes states over how to beat back the carp migrating up the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, a man-made link between the carp-infested Mississippi basin and Lake Michigan.
Neighboring states want Illinois to slam shut two navigation locks as a makeshift barrier to block the advance of the fish; Illinois contends that such a closure would do great harm to the barge industry that relies on a free-flowing canal, and that it is unnecessary because an electric barrier on the canal is keeping the carp at bay.
Not everyone is so convinced the barrier is working as advertised. Water samples taken from the 70-plus miles of canals above the barrier repeatedly have tested positive for Asian carp DNA, and in the summer of 2010, a 20-pound Asian carp was pulled from a fisherman's net about seven miles south of Lake Michigan.
Illinois officials see its eat-the-carp program as another tool to keep the fish out of Lake Michigan.
According to the Illinois DNR:
"Illinois' $15 billion-dollar shipping industry has been threatened through ongoing legal actions by neighboring Great Lakes states in an attempt to close Chicago's navigation locks. Using Asian carp as a healthy food source for food banks is a major step towards eradication of the fish in Illinois waters and protects the waterway shipping industry from forced closures of our locks and dam systems."
The Illinois DNR also hopes the program will do some good for Illinois rivers.
"The Asian carp threat also continues to have a negative impact on Illinois' commercial and sport fishing industries and tourism and leads to revenue and job loss. Asian carp are voracious eaters consuming more than 40 percent of their body weight per day in plankton," states the Illinois DNR's official description of the program.
"They compete with our native fish species for food and can quickly overtake native populations of fish in our rivers, lakes and streams. The planned overfishing program of Asian carp will help protect these multibillion dollar industries in Illinois and the Great Lakes while protecting revenues and ensuring jobs. The overfishing program for Asian carp will also provide an abundance of fish available to feed our fellow Illinoisans."
The Illinois DNR will demonstrate recipes at a dinner with chef Philippe Parola on Thursday at Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory High School in Chicago.
All they have to do is declare a no bag limit on these fish and the fishermen will take care of the problem........
So are they going to replace Michigan’s $10 billion sportfishing industry?
the moral of the story is....
Soon this will be all that we can afford to eat, for those of us not on Food Stamps.
Cajuns will eat anything.
....or so the stereotype goes....
Most carp I’ve eaten taste like mud.
They can’t be caught hook and line (plankton eaters). Only netted or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try bow fishing and sticking them when they try to jump in your lap.
Add enough red pepper and garlic and it will taste great..........
I’m not sure how well Illinoisans would cotton to Louisiana style carp. Blackened seasoning and such isn’t hugely popular in, say, Chicago.
From what I’ve seen, the carp will destroy the sport fishing industry in the Great Lakes if they get there in any numbers. And apparently they multiply like rabbits.
I hear they are served in some restaurants under the phony name “silver fin” - but actually I’ve heard they taste pretty good. Considering farm raised talapia is fed by the poop of farm raised striped bass - I guess anything can make it to the table....
a grade “B” sci-fi thriller where Gordon Ramsey is the hero
Carp... maybe. No one says good things about the snakehead.
These carp aren’t bottom feeders and taste fine.
BUT fishing for them will not prevent them from getting into the great lakes. The fed needs to fill in the canal. But Bongo will listen to Chicago of course, and there goes the fishing industry on the great lakes.
Recycling, man, recycling. Anyone with a cat with an indoor litter box, and a dog, knows about this. To the dog, it's Tootsie Rolls.
More waste of tax dollars
they come in a yellow box that says “Gorton’s” on it
That was just totally unnecessary. Funny, relevant, but totally unnecessary...
These fish are not natural the the US and are very destructive. They should just catch and kill them. I know someone who wanted one for his pond because it had a green growth problem. The state gov’t told him he would have to sign his life away to get one and it would totally kill whatever else that was in there. He passed.
Give a man a carp and he’ll eat for a day.
Is screening the canal not feasible? So as to catch every single carp that tries to swim up that way?
*** HEH HEH HEH ***
I haven't eaten a bite of Tilapia since I saw that episode of Dirty Jobs. Bleecchh!
How about adding them to school lunch programs nationwide? What better way to get rid of this nuisance fish than by using school children all over the country to transfer them from lunch trays in to trash cans?
In some restaurants and groceries you can get wild tilapia - very good and without the bleeechh! Just stay away from the, ahem, “farm raised” type.
But you have the right idea, I quit eating the farm raised after that same episode. That was TMI for sure.
Wait till the people get hungry enough and snakehead will become gourmet fare.
Pay some fishermen to fish the dickens out of the carp. Kids don’t like fish patties all that well, but they’ll gladly eat fish sticks. It would also be lower in mercury than most wild fish, so healthier.
Huh, lots of Hg? In Lake Michigan?
We always had fish on Fridays in school............
A carp in every pot!
Feed the cat peanuts and it's Baby Ruth.
Methinks he’s jumped the carp...
Carpe carp diem.
Sieze the fish today!
Use a net - they jump.
Something must eat carp in Asia to keep them in check.........
Do you think these carp would eat delta smelt?
As a young kid we would go down to the creek and spear them - 2nd to 5th grade or so. Later would bow hunt them - even went on a few “hunts” in high school. Lots of fun chasing carp around!!!
The nearest trash can would take most of the carp. A couple were brought back to a neighbor for his compost pile. And a couple were placed on the doorsteps of various friends and enemies as either a practical joke or just to be mean.
The thought never crossed our minds to eat them. Although in Europe they are a huge sport fish. And I think you can fish for them using doughballs, corn, etc. on the bottom. Not so much plankton eaters - but bottom feeders - of most anything.
Ever tried carp? Even supposedly “well prepared” carp?
It’s nasty, oily, fishy, boney and tough as a shoe. These are bottom feeders, and particularly in the Great Lakes that is not such a good thing, since they are what they eat.
This fish is the marine equivalent of road kill. If it were such a frackin’ delicacy, there would be no need for any Gubmint agency to try and convince people of it....
No, they are vegans........
Some modern testing would seem to be called for. Surely if O’bummer wants to help Chicago be rid of these fish, he can give a buzz to his buddies in the Dept. of Agriculture and have them check the mercury again.
Caused by the DNR, when they started dreding the feeder rivers, in some sort of abatement program.
Hg levels in Lake Michigan went through the roof.
No problem is so bad, the the government can’t make it worse ...
cripplecreek, when my wife was pregnant with my middle kid, they ran commercials all the time - “Pregnant women, do not eat fish from lake MI.”
If caught out of clean water, I think carp are very tasty. I’ve caught dozens of them using whole kernel corn as a bait. You’ve got to navigate those little cross hatch bones,but I think they are way underrated as a food fish in the US.
He’s full of carp.........
Send it to the jails, convicts have to eat.
If they are cannibals of other fish, this reputation for bottom feeding is not strictly true.