December 21, 2017

"Asian carp escaped decades ago from Southern fish farms and have been moving north ever since."

"In some northern Illinois waterways, Asian carp now make up 90 percent of the concentration of fish. With their large size and appetites, they crowd out and decimate the sport fish anglers love to catch, such as walleye and bass...."

The Wisconsin State Journal editorial board says "Block the Asian carp with a concrete wall."

The apt riposte has already been written in a letter to the editor published a few days later:
The State Journal's editorial... seems like animal racism.

Asian carp came here through no fault of their own and now are just seeking a better life by using resources the native aquatic species don't want. Besides, how do you know which carp have birthright citizenship?

Make the Great Lakes great again (MGGA) -- build the barrier.
The letter writer is from Madison, so let me Madisonsplain: It's amusing to refrain from saying that the barrier is a bad idea when it's already been said that the idea sounds like something Trump says.

62 comments:

Ipso Fatso said...

Many of us in Illinois refer to a trip to Wisconsin as going behind "The Cheddar Curtain". Maybe the powers that be could build a wall of cheese.

Saint Croix said...

Asian carp escaped decades ago from Southern fish farms

Just like Cool Hand Luke!

"Block the Asian carp with a concrete wall."

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

traditionalguy said...

Carping done in the Madison style. The trademark "shame, shame, shame" chant is being held in reserve until it is really needed.

MadisonMan said...

Why aren't Asian Carp eaten?

How about a market for cat food for it? I'd rather serve that to my cat than herring or salmon.

Make Cat Food Great Again.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Carp are a horrible fish to eat. They taste like shit....or more accurately like mud. And the mud vein is very difficult to remove.

They have a very bony structure that makes it difficult to filet and almost impossible to eat a bite without getting stabbed in the mouth or choked to death.

Unless you are starving, no one sane would eat a carp.

They are an invasive species and are decimating the Bass population, which is an excellent sport fish which is great for eating.

Carp should be destroyed.

Meade said...

Lake Michigan has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.

Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Asia sends its fish, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending sashimi. They’re not sending sushi. They’re sending fish that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing their voracious appetites. They’re bringing lower water quality. They’re carpists. And some, I assume, are good swimmers.

But I speak to DNR and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right fish.

EDH said...

Carpe diem keeps the invasive species away?

Meade said...

Yes. Some are red. And some are blue. Some are old. And some are new.
"Some are sad.
And some are glad.
And some are very, very bad.
Why are they Sad and glad and bad? I do not know.
Go ask your dad.

Some have two feet And some have four. Some have six feet And some have more.
Where do they come from? I can’t say. But I bet they have come a long, long way.
We see them come. We see them go. Some are fast. And some are slow.
Some are high And some are low. Not one of them Is like another. Don’t ask us why. Go ask your mother."

Ann Althouse said...

In a world
where fish have problems

In a world where swimming is a way of life
All the fishes' problems they overwhelm my mind
They say compassion is a virtue, but I don't have the time

So many fish...have their problems
I'm not interested...in their problems
I guess I've...experienced some problems
But now I've...made some decisions
Takes a lot of time to push away the nonsense
Take my compassion... Push it as far as it goes
My interest level's dropping, my interest level is dropping
I've heard all I want to, I don't want to hear any more

These are fish in love with their problems
I think they take it...a little too far
It's...not so cool for fish to have problems
But don't expect me to explain fish indecisions
Fish should talk to their analyst, that's what analysts are paid for
Fish swim, they swim... They still function like they used to
It's not a question... of their personality or style
Be a little more selfish, it might do fish some good...

rhhardin said...

Thd kudzu and killer bees will take care of them.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why aren't Asian Carp eaten?"

They are eaten. And people like them a lot. Especially Asian people.

But you see in the quote in the post: sport fish anglers love to catch walleye and bass. I bet those sport fish anglers are mostly white men.

Privileged white men who want to catch the privileged white fish and they want to enlist the government to build a wall to do their discriminating for them.

Why can't these sport fish anglers be more accepting and eat the fish they happen to catch? If you want to call yourself a "sport fish angler," be a sport. Eat all fish.

James Pawlak said...

The best time to catch and eat carp is late Winter. They go well with a side dish of Australian rabbit.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
Why aren't Asian Carp eaten?

How about a market for cat food for it? I'd rather serve that to my cat than herring or salmon.

Make Cat Food Great Again."

The ones in the Wisconsin River are so full of PCB's that can't be used for food. The shore is lined with their rotting carcasses in spring, having died from oxygen starvation when the river level is brought down over the winter in preparation of spring snow runoff and rain. They can't even put them in landfills so it's downriver they go, ultimately all the way to the gulf.

mockturtle said...

Is there a large enough Asian population to warrant carp farming? Or is it, as DBQ suggests, used for cat foot? Seems I was always catching an unwanted wild carp so there must have been plenty of them back in the day.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
"Why aren't Asian Carp eaten?"

They are eaten. And people like them a lot. Especially Asian people."

Asians will eat anything that washes up on shore.

Ann Althouse said...

If the sport fish angler wants to discriminate, then don't eat the walleye and the bass — throw them back — and eat the carp.

Where's the problem? If you get the fish you like for sporting reasons, you put him back to be recaught by other sport fish anglers. That's good. If you get a carp, that's good too. You keep him. You have a fine dinner of carp.

What's the problem?!

The Talking Heads got it right: It's not so cool to have so many problems. I think you take it a little too far. What are you, in love with your problems?

mockturtle said...

Farm fish of any kind are virus prone and the escapees infect the wild fish. Sad.

Ann Althouse said...

Asian carp are particularly good, explained here:

“There’s no market for them. I’ve had one or two people ask for them,” said Clint Carter, co-owner of Carter’s Fish Market, 1900 South Grand Ave. E. That’s too bad because the few people brave enough to taste the pearly white flesh – punctuated by many bones -- say it tastes like cod or tilapia. “It’s a freshwater fish with a clean taste,” Carter said. “People are always surprised when they taste it.”...

"Part of the Asian carp’s poor image stems from its name. It’s often confused with the common carp, a bottom feeder with a flavor sometimes referred to as “muddy.” The Asian carp, in fact, is a clean fish that feeds on plankton and algae in the upper water of rivers. It’s rich in protein and low in mercury because it doesn’t eat other fish. The tender flesh lacks a “fishy” taste, so it easily absorbs the flavors of sauces, spices and herbs cooked with it.

"“This fish is so good, I’d take it over tilapia,” said chef Philippe Parola of Baton Rouge, La., who has conducted Asian carp cooking demonstrations in Illinois in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ “Target Hunger Now!” program. The initiative encourages hunters and anglers to donate deer and Asian carp to food banks in Illinois.

"To prevent confusion over the name and to elevate the Asian carp’s image, Parola calls the fish “silverfin.” It’s also been dubbed “Kentucky tuna.”..."

Chuck said...

Wow, it's pretty funny to me that they published that letter at all. Is the letter-writer known to Meadehouse? The intent -- whose carp was being gored -- was not clear to me. But I like the cleverness and the execution.

Tommy Duncan said...

The Asian Carp have made it as far as Rockford on the Rock River. The Yahara River is next.

Sadly, Ann's picture posts in the next few years may feature leaping carp in Lake Mendota.

But for at least a few years there will be a greater diversity of aquatic life in Mendota, after which the demographics will swing quickly over to a mono-culture. (Thus following the European model?)

Tommy Duncan said...

"Many of us in Illinois..." (aka "flatlanders")

Hagar said...

Those crazy Germans also farm carp to eat.

I once read that the way to cook carp is to split them and nail them to a birch plank with certain condiments, then bake in oven until done, throw away the carp, and eat the plank.

Carter Wood said...

The fine Minneapolis world-music (mostly Celtic) band, Boiled in Lead, performs "Silver Carp."

Silver carp coin upriver
I believe they started in Arkansas
Silver carp below the radar
Silver Carp above the law
Sturgeon spoke, sturgeon's worried
Oughta see the look on the long-nosed gar
Bullhead, bowfin, buffalo running
Seeking asylum at the DNR

Ann Althouse said...

"Sadly, Ann's picture posts in the next few years may feature leaping carp in Lake Mendota."

Asian carp eat algae. I'd rather see fish leaping in Lake Mendota than algae.

Ann Althouse said...

Why can't we be more accepting? This idea of preserving our culture...

Fritz said...

Just one of many silly videos dedicated to the wily Asian Carp.

Paco Wové said...

“This fish is so good, I’d take it over tilapia,”

I think that is what they call damning with faint praise.

Are W said...

And in a mad rush to un-preserve their culture, Australia today experienced a little discomfort by the native population.

Bill said...

I suspect Meade wrote that letter under a pseudonym.

Rick Turley said...

Jehoshaphat ain't got nothing on these fish!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLmJjRqXDCo

Rusty said...

What's the problem?!

Not a sports fish. It crowds out native species that anglers have been working for decades to preserve.
Want to get rid of them? Put a bounty on them. $500 a ton and they'll be out of the river system in a decade.

Gahrie said...

Why can't we be more accepting? This idea of preserving our culture...

Wait..we aren't allowed to preserve our culture? Why not...everyone else is! Besides what else are we supposed to do? If we adopt someone else's culture we get slammed for appropriation!

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tommy Duncan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clayton Hennesey said...

The problems with the Asian carp as well as with the Burmese and other pythons in Florida offer excellent tools to teach young school children about the ecological (culture/economy) problems illegal immigration present to America.

Tommy Duncan said...

Ann said: "Asian carp eat algae. I'd rather see fish leaping in Lake Mendota than algae. "

Have you no concern for the minority fishes who will be displaced by the Asian carp? What about the other fishes that consume algae who will be starved to death by the disappearance of their food source? What about the fishes that feed on the current algae eaters who also face starvation? This is a waterway of tears! What about aquatic diversity? This is clear case of algae appropriation on the part of the Asian carp. And do we have to call them "Asian carp"? Isn't that racist?

And by the way, the Asian carp won't eliminate the annual algae bloom, which is caused by excessive algae nutrients in the water. What you will have is silver fish jumping in green August water.

Jupiter said...

The State Journal won't show me that editorial, because I am using AdBlock. My options are "Allow ads on madison.com" and "Buy an ad removal pass". Hah! An ad removal pass. Gotta love it.

Darrell said...

Shut up and fish.

Meade said...

Why can't I just eat my carp waffle?

wwww said...



Asian carp are bottom feeders. They kick up a lot of dirt on the bottom of the rivers. If they get into the Great Lakes it'll hurt and maybe replace the present fish because they can out-feed them. They can also be a problem for water skiing or boating. Can get a concussion from these fish.

Some people might prefer the taste of carp to the present lake fish.

But a concrete wall won't stop the spread. Birds, floods. I feel for Great Lakes fishermen, because they're gonna get into that system. Maybe Americans will develop a taste for carp.

wwww said...


oh I see - they aren't bottom feeders. I've been told by fishermen they've made rivers more cloudy. Looks like silver carp might increase blue-green algae blooms.

Char Char Binks said...

They're not sending their best.

walter said...

If only we could tame their warrior side and harness their math skills.

gadfly said...

Asian Carp have been a problem in Wisconsin waterways for years. WIDNR efforts have focused on the Fox River, St. Croix River, Wisconsin River and the Upper Mississippi. The good news from the Army Corps of Engineers:

$18 billion would keep Asian carp out of Great Lakes but could take decades to implement. That sound like a program designed by Donald Trump but this story is BDT - Before Donald Trump.

walter said...

But Truuuuuummmp!
Wall not going fast enough for you?
Talk to your Senator:

Ryan (yesterday): We passed funding for the wall back in spring in the House, but we’ve got a Senate that we have to deal with that has different rules than we do, they move a little more slowly.

Rusty said...

Asian aren't a gamefish. License sales will be hurt and that's where a majority of a states conservation money comes from.

Darrell said...

$18 billion would keep Asian carp out of Great Lakes but could take decades to implement. That sound like a program designed by Donald Trump but this story is BDT - Before Donald Trump.

Comrade, you are misinformed, as usual. Trump is famous for finishing projects in months, when others were saying years. The skating rink in NYC is a great example. He also does it for a fraction of the cost, and does it better. With renovation jobs, he has specialized in keeping the buildings open and functioning while the work proceeds, saving big bucks in relocation costs-- twice.

Carter Wood said...

Polish Food 101 ‒ Carp

There is no exaggeration in stating that carp is a culinary symbol of Polish Christmas Eve. On this day, Poles usually eat the fish fried in batter or breadcrumbs, served cold in a jelly, or simmered with sweet seasonings – the so-called Jewish carp recipe. At times the fish is also served with a typical gray gravy.

Before the Second World War, the carp used to appear on the Christmas table, but only as one among many other freshwater fish. The “carpe a la polonaise” is a Christmas dish proposed by Antoni Teslar, the author of a 1910 cookbook entitled Kuchnia polsko-francuska (Polish-French Cuisine). After the war, Communist authorities launched mass-breeding of the cheap carp, as part of the so-called “battle for trade”, and limited access to other freshwater fish such as perch, pike, zander, and eel. Nowadays most Poles couldn’t imagine Christmas without carp, even though a great majority swears they literally cannot stand it. Older people will associate the time before Christmas with a carp swimming in the home bathtub, when one had to clout and kill the live fish before preparing it. This infamous procedure is luckily being abandoned.

walter said...

Damn..that clouting sounds like fun for the whole family.

walter said...

"It's a special Christmas this year...Aleksander's first clout!"

Rick67 said...

"“This fish is so good, I’d take it over tilapia,” said chef Philippe Parola of Baton Rouge, La.

Well dang professor, as a resident of Louisiana, I'd say that settles it!

Darrell said...

New name? Female Multi-orgasm fish, FMO, for short. Or Female Spontaneous Orgasm fish. They'll fly off the shelves. Didn't work for you? Try again.

D said...

Asian fish come to America and outperform. An American newspaper, stuck in the mental purity of their ivory towers, inaccurately reach for a Mexican based equivalence, for political points, rather than see another metaphor.

JaimeRoberto said...

Carp is Christmas food in my wife's home country. They buy the fish live and keep it in the bathtub, which means they can't shower for a few days before Christmas. It's a smelly, gray, muddy time of year. How I hated Christmas there.

Richard Dillman said...

Here is my favorite poem about fishing: "The Fish" by Elizabeth Bishop. Enjoy.




The Fish – A Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled with barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
- the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly-
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
- It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
- if you could call it a lip
grim, wet, and weaponlike,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts,
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels- until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.

Elizabeth Bishop

Richard Dillman said...

Here is my favorite poem about fishing: "The Fish" by Elizabeth Bishop. Enjoy.




The Fish – A Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled with barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
- the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly-
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
- It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
- if you could call it a lip
grim, wet, and weaponlike,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts,
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels- until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.

Elizabeth Bishop

Darrell said...

Here is my favorite poem about fishing: "Pointy Fish" by Anna Phalaxis. Enjoy.

Pointy Fish--A Poem by Anna Phalaxis

Oh, pointy fish
Oh, pointy pointy
Annoint my mish
Anointy, nointy

MadisonMan said...

The Government should require everyone to capture live carp. 1 each week. If you don't show that you've met your quota, pay a penalty that might be called a tax.

Problem solved.

Richard Dillman said...

I just hope we aren't carping too much.

PackerBronco said...

Here's the important question: How does the Hawaiian judge feel about this?

walter said...

Richard Dillman,
Embrace the "delete" function (once).
It is your friend.

jaydub said...

An old family recipe for carp:

1. Start with a wood fire, then allow it to burn down to the embers
2. Take a fresh cut pine board, lay the carp on the board and pack it in lake mud.
3. Place the board mud side up in the embers and cook until the mud starts to split.
4. Remove the board from the fire, crack off the rest of the baked mud and remove the carp.
5. Throw the carp away and eat the board.