Managers at the migratory bird sanctuary south of Burns have tried dynamite. They've tried poison. They've tried suffocating invasive Asian carp by draining water from lakes and ponds. They've put screens across waterways to keep the carp from finding new territory.
None offered more than a temporary respite from an invasion that has plagued Malheur Lake and nearby waterways for nearly a century.
"Every time, it would be two, three, maybe four years before they'd repopulate," refuge manager Chad Karges said. "They're the perfect invasive species. There's very little that will kill them."
The carp have created an ecosystem so out of balance it no longer supports the plant and insect life birds rely upon for food and habitat. Populations of migrating ducks, geese and shorebirds that once passed through the refuge in numbers as great as half-a-million each day have dwindled to a tenth that size.
Now, refuge bosses hope to wrest control with fishing nets.
They've partnered with the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation and the owner of Pacific Foods, a Tualatin company best known for boxed soup and soymilk, to stage a massive commercial fishing operation on the refuge.
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