Bighead and Silver carp, two species of Asian carp, were introduced to the United States in the 1970's and escaped into the wild shortly thereafter. They are voracious filter-feeders that out-compete native fishes. Asian carp are now abundant in the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois rivers and are poised to invade the Great Lakes.
The Chicago River was reversed in 1900 and created a vector for invasive species to cross between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.
The barge industry uses the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to transport goods from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. If the locks on the canal were closed permanently to prevent the invasion of Asian carp into the Great Lakes, that industry might disappear.
Anglers fear that Asian carp might disrupt the sport fishing in the Great Lakes. As a whole, the Great Lakes represent a seven billion dollar fishery.
Looking towards the future of the invasive species and lock closure debate surrounding the Great Lakes.
Duane Chapman, research fish biologist at the USGS in Columbia, Mo., addresses the flavor of and various ways to cook Bighead and Silver carp.