2021 has been a bumper year for big invasive carp catches. From 12 million carp being removed from just Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, to a 72lb fish being caught by a sport fisherman in a lagoon in Illinois. 

The prevalence of stories found across the Mississippi basin shows that this issue is no longer a small regional concern, but a nationwide crisis that needs a concerted effort from innovators, legislators and governmental departments. 

The trend of fish being caught across the Mississippi Basin is highlighting several trends.

In the news

The first of these trends is that invasive carp are becoming more newsworthy. There are currently several articles a month highlighting increased sizes and prevalence of Bighead, Black, Silver and Grass carp. 

This is due to there being a better understanding of the invasive carp problem, and the economic, tourism and ecological impact that it can have on a local, state and national level. In addition there has been a lot of talk regarding the funding of projects around the country, which is an issue that has yet to be fully addressed.

Geographically Diverse

Another trend that has been observed in 2021 is the number of states that invasive carp is affecting. 

Previously, the main focus of attention and funding for projects relating to invasive carp has been in the states of Illinois and Kentucky. In Illinois, there is the Brandon Road Project, and in Kentucky there is Barkley Lock, which FGS is a partner and the provider of technology. 

However this year we have seen the Tennessee Valley Authority release a report looking at installing barriers across their region. In addition, catches of carp have also been seen in Texas, Arkansas, and even the Dakotas, showing that the issue of invasive carp is not just a midwestern problem.

In addition there has been movement in Ohio, and in the eastern Great Lakes region, along the Erie Canal.

Still time to act

In many states, the catching of invasive carp species can be seen as early warning signs and with the implementation of systems such as BioAcoustic Fish Fences and other technologies, the impact these species have can be greatly reduced. 

However, failure to act can also have consequences, as Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and others need only look to the interventions currently being implemented in states such as Kentucky and Illinois, with large scale infrastructure now required to help control the spread.
For more information about invasive carp, and the effect they are having on the entire Mississippi Basin please visit our minisite. Or alternatively, email [email protected].