Carp is the enemy to all fishermen in Arizona. We are in a brutal war as to who is in charge of our rivers and water ways with this carnivorous monster species that knows it’s in a battle for survival. We humans haven’t yet figured it out that we are too. Within the next five years you will be asking your children if you want to go to the “lake, river, and pond, to go catch some carp".
I myself find the fish fun to catch as the fight they put on is brutal. They have no give in them. Unlike other species of fish that when you bring them close to shore or onto your boat they kind of resign to their fate. Carp refuse to give up. Which makes catching them fun? This fish though is hard to cook and feast on for it is extremely bony and its flavor is similar to mud. I’ve heard of some cultures that cherish the taste of carp but I have found it relative to eating a sponge after its been used to clean the bathroom. Regardless of taste the fact of the matter is that carp are dangerous to our environment and even more dangerous to the fish we love to fish for.
Here are the facts on Carp
This is why this Hooked AZ angler is also a carp murderer. I believe it is my mission in life to slay the golden dragon fish in all waters of AZ. The raccoons along the river banks of our great state know me by the sound my truck makes and await my arrival salivating at the thought of my gifts to them. Which I leave by the dozens on the banks of wherever I go.
- Carp are highly predatorily and eat three times their weight in food a day
- Their main source of food is the eggs of other fish. They are known though to eat almost anything
- A single female carp lay 400,000 eggs at a time. Now times that number, by the number of female carp in any given area.
The average female largemouth bass lays 2,000 eggs per pound. If she weighs ten pounds that’s 20,000 eggs. The average catfish lays only 200 eggs. The average bluegill only 12,000. Do the math people. Our favorite fish to fish for are being out bred over ten thousand to one. Ridiculous!
Like Large mouth and Striper, Carp are not native to our waters. Unlike the previous two carp were not slowly introduced into our habitat. Striper and Large mouth were released in controlled environments in the 1950’s through the 1970’s. Arizona Game and fish should be proud of themselves in regards to how well they handled the Striper and largemouth integration into our waters. When there were concerns in the 60’s about the Striper population wiping out our native species AZ game and fish stopped the release of the fish until proper studies could be done. When they realized that they were bringing the species into our waters too quickly they reduced the effort for another six years.
Carp on the other hand were mainly introduced to our waters in two ways. Irresponsible coy ownership directly related to the golf courses in the valley as well as anglers who bought coy and carp from local pet shops and Wal-Mart in the late 90’s and used them for bait. Releasing them into the wild, in an unsupervised fashion. This is the main reason behind the laws that are in place for transporting live fish.
So now we know what the problem is but the question is what can we do about it? Well besides killing everything in our waters the truth of the matter is not much. According to Cynthia Pollock, at Arizona Game and Fish we can though significantly reduce the numbers by actively hunting the fish.
Humans are the world’s most deadly predator. In less than a hundred years between 1840 to 1920 we almost destroyed the world’s total whale population forever. Every species that ever has crossed our path we have decimated and then tried to recover. In 1936 there were over 2 million tigers spread across Asia and India and as you all know there are now less than twenty thousand. We as Arizonians have a heritage of shooting first and asking questions later. This heritage needs to be applied to the carp that infest our waters. We need to treat them as if they were plague carrying rats and destroy them forever. Before our Catfish bass blue gill trout and striper disappear in the shimmering golden yellow scales of the ultimate survivor.