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Huge, once-hated fish now seen as weapon against Asian carp
Eating the Most Hated Fish on the Mississippi | Sierra Club
This story is part of " Eat The Enemy ," a HuffPost series on edible invasive species, non-native plants and animals you can help contain from the comfort of your dinner table. A sian carp were never supposed to live in North American waterways. Like many other invasive species, they were introduced by humans in an attempt to address another problem, namely to remove algae from catfish farms and wastewater treatment ponds in the s. But sometime in the next two decades, the fish escaped their enclosures -- most likely due to several large floods in the '90s -- and began to spread. Over the past 15 years, populations have exploded , as the carp outcompete native fish populations and quickly reproduce through the tributaries of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers while moving north to the Great Lakes.
Can I eat Asian carp?
I was lured in by the glass of champagne and the caviar topping for the oysters, because pure decadence. But I also wanted to pick up tips and tricks from the Oyster Shucker — those incredibly skilled fellows who crack open oysters with a grace and ease to which I can only aspire. Seeing sacks of oysters being dragged in, and then pried open one-by-one, before being nestled into little beds of ice, made me smile. I smiled, not just because I enjoy eating them, which I do; I smiled because it feels like just last week was the BP oil spill and the collective regional concern that the oyster business may not ever fully recover. I smiled because in the hands of a capable shucker, opening an oyster starts with a tap of the knife on the shell and culminates with a sound akin to opening a fresh jar of pickles.
It's a toothy giant that can grow longer than a horse and heavier than a refrigerator, a fearsome-looking prehistoric fish that plied U. Persecuted by anglers and deprived of places to spawn, the alligator gar—with a head that resembles an alligator and two rows of needlelike teeth—survived primarily in southern states in the tributaries of the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico after being declared extinct in several states farther north. To many, it was a freak, a "trash fish" that threatened sportfish, something to be exterminated. But the once-reviled predator is now being seen as a valuable fish in its own right, and as a potential weapon against a more threatening intruder: the invasive Asian carp, which have swum almost unchecked toward the Great Lakes, with little more than an electric barrier to keep them at bay.