Asian carp in Chicago

Yesterday, I was delighted to discover that the Shedd Aquarium has a collection of Asian carp in their exhibit on fish of Great Lakes. The carp, as you'll recall, are gigantic, invasive fish that are quickly taking over Midwestern waterways. They can eat 40% of their own bodyweight in a day and have a dangerous fondness for jumping out of the water and, occasionally, smacking humans in the head when they do so.

This fine fellow — and the smaller Asian carp behind him — came from a lagoon (man-made lake) in Chicago. Charles Knapp, a scientist and the Aquarium's vice president for conservation, told me that they were probably originally bait fish, released into the lagoons by fishermen. He also introduced me to an entirely new concept, the charismatic invasive species.

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  1. Old says:

    They can eat 40% of their own bodyweight in a day and have a dangerous fondness for jumping out of the water and, occasionally, smacking humans in the head when they do so.

    Apparently my brother-in-law is an Asian Carp.

  2. Just curious...did that Chicago guy's idea for an Asian Carp food joint ever take off?

  3. I clicked the cut excited to read a brief summary of "charismatic invasive species" and found nothing. WHAT GIVES?

  4. Those must be the fish that they farm for the 'googly eyes' sold at craft stores for children's gluing-stuff-to-stuff projects...

  5. Even if they do, a few bleaching agents should turn them into 'Standardized Homogeneous Protein Slurry: Non-Essential Population Grade Foodstuff', a snack sure to keep the underclass toiling with energy and vigor.

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