Local fishers may have to change how they use bait to a particular invasive species in the area.
Many people don’t realize Asian carp have made their way to Indiana and are causing issues on the rivers and streams they inhabit. These fish have been traveling upstream from Arkansas, through the Mississippi River, and are continuing to spread. And after recent flooding, fishers have been catching Asian carp near Lake Monroe. Indiana Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist Dave Kittaka said that this has forced new regulations for catching not fish, but bait, in the area.
“It’s fairly common practice for people to come down here [to the Lake Monroe Dam], cast net for gizzard shad and use them for catfish bait,” he said. “They can do that as long as they don’t keep them alive, because now that we have Asian carp in here, if the juveniles and the smaller fish come up, it’s very hard to tell the difference.”
But seeing the pesky fish is nothing new according to Chris Amstutz, the owner of White River Bait and Tackle in Williams.
“I see a few more and a few more every year and hear a lot more instances from local fisherman where they pull into the bank and the big head carp just jump out of the water everywhere, hit them in the head and jump in their boat,” he said.
The DNR is currently working on educating the public about the hazards of these fish and are working on ways to keep them from spreading to the Great Lakes.