Mark Menendez on Invasive Asian Carp

By Ted Lund

Yamaha Marine Pro Angler Mark Menendez has a serious conservation message for boaters and anglers around the country related to an invasive species — the Asian carp.

“Our waterways are in peril,” says Menedez. “The Asian carp problem has gotten to magnificent proportions. The economic impact of these fish is unbelievable.”

Asian carp cause harm when they are introduced to new environments.

Specifically, the four most well-known species of invasive Asian carp are bighead, silver, black, and grass carp.[2] The black carp feeds on native mussels and snails, some of which can be already endangered. Grass carp can alter the food webs of a new environment by altering the communities of plants, invertebrates, and fish. Silver carp feed on the plankton necessary for larval fish and native mussels.

“These fish propagate at a fast rate and crowd our lakes out,” says Menendez. “They hurt our natural gamefish and in turn our sport.”

In addition, because of their habit of densely schooling and jumping capabilities, they pose a safety threat as well.

Silver carp have become notorious for being easily frightened by boats and personal watercraft, causing them to leap high into the air. Weighing as much as 100 pounds, these aerobatic fish have seriously injured unsuspecting boaters. Last year, the EPA reported numerous injuries to boaters and anglers ranging from cuts from fins, black eyes, broken bones, and back injuries to concussions.

This habit of jumping has also invented a new sport where bowhunters flush the carp with a boat, then attempt a shot in mid-air.

Want to get involved and try to do something about this finny takeover of our local lakes and waterways?

Menendez encourages anglers to get politically involved to help find a solution to the Asian carp invasion.

“Bind together, contact your elected officials — your state senator or representative — and let them know your thoughts on this problem,” says Menendez. “We need their help, along with federal funding, so that we can fight the Asian carp problem.”

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