An invasion is occurring in the U.S. right now, and it’s not coming from other countries or militia movements. No, this invasion poses a more natural threat: that of the Asian carp, a species of fish considered highly invasive in the U.S. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the fish pose a serious threat to native species of fish in the U.S., as they invade natural habitats and impact food chains on which other domestic fish rely. As is evidenced by their very name, Asian carp are foreign fish that were imported into the U.S. in the 1970’s for the purpose of cleaning pond water in southern fish farms. The species was able to heavily permeate other open waters in the U.S. after flooding enabled them to escape from the contained fish farms. Asian carp pose an especially grave threat to the Great Lakes, whose waters and native fish have been hugely impacted by the invasive breed.
According to ABC News, Asian carp can weigh up to a whopping 70 pounds and grow to four feet long. ABC also explains that the fish are disturbed by the sound of motors so they leap out of the water in fear, making them incredibly easy to catch.
The video below depicts the phenomenon perfectly and gives the concept of “fishing” a whole new meaning. According to the video’s Youtube description, this footage was taken in 2010 during a boating trip down a drainage ditch near Spoon River in West Central Illinois. It shows a group of kids, accompanied by older men, being overwhelmed by an influx of Asian carp that jump out of the water as their boat goes by. Amidst squeals and lots of laughter, the group is bombarded by jumping Asian carp, many of which land inside their boat. The YouTube description also reports that by the end of their boating trip, the group counted over 70 fish inside the boat, all weighing between five and ten pounds. The haul is pretty astounding considering that the group never actually fished in the traditional sense.
Since being uploaded, this clip has accrued over four million views on YouTube. For many, the footage is unlike anything they’ve ever seen, but for others more familiar with Asian carp, the scene is not only recognizable but also somewhat disturbing. The massive reproduction of the Asian carp has reached such staggering numbers that people everywhere have become vocal about spreading awareness of the invasive species.