National Fisherman

If there ever was an icon for invasive species, it is Asian carp.

Not only do they reproduce and grow exponentially, they leap up to eight feet out of the water in a spectacle that is almost beyond belief.

If we were able to weigh all the fish in the Illinois River today, more than half of the fish by weight would be Asian silver and bighead carp.

To stay on top of efforts to keep the invaders from spreading from the Illinois River system into the Great Lakes, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has developed an aquatic nuisance team of six biologists.

They work with other agencies to monitor and respond to any reports of the fish near electric barriers designed to keep them in check.

“We work closely with other agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Kevin Irons, aquatic nuisance species program manager. “We actually have more work than any one agency can do.”
The Corps is in charge of three barriers put in place to keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan.

“All of the barriers are functioning, and two are always on,” Irons said.

The good news, Irons said, is that Asian carp are rarely found in the northern reaches near the barrier.

So far, only one confirmed fish, found when the Chicago and Sanitary Ship Canal that bridges the Illinois River and Lake Michigan was treated to kill all fish in 2009, is known.

Irons said biologists are using nets, electro-fishing and contracting with commercial fishermen in an attempt to find any Asian carp near the barrier.

“We are using the commercial fishermen who have the most experience catching fish, and the best gear,” he said. “We’re just not catching them.”

Read the full story at the State Journal-Register>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 10/21/14

In this episode:

North Pacific Council adjusts observer program
Fishermen: bluefin fishing best in 10 years
Catch limit raised for Bristol Bay red king crab
Canadian fishermen fight over lobster size rules
River conference addresses Dead Zone cleanup

National Fisherman Live: 10/7/14

In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about the 1929 dragger Vandal.

 

Inside the Industry

NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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The Golden Gate Salmon Association will host its 4th Annual Marin County Dinner at Marin Catholic High School, 675 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Kentfield on Friday, Oct 10, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

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