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Not Quite Lewis and Clark

My Asian Carp and Me


Here's a quick, fun story to help get you through (I'm guessing here) an otherwise mundane work day. Before we packed our bags, and shipped off on this adventure I can't tell you how many people sent me videos of Asian Carp. Kind of like this one here.

You see Asian Carp are an invasive species, and once they got loose in the Mississippi River they've spread like wildfire (or like Asian Carp). I'm not 100% sure how they got here in the first place; some guy told us a company was experimenting with them, and they were accidentally released when a flood pushed them out of their contained space. However, I can't confirm that. What I can tell you is nobody likes these guys. The locals say they taste terrible, and are quote, "A bloody fish." I'm no fisherman, but their tone indicated that's not a good thing.

They also have this nasty habit of jumping out of the water when they feel threatened. Which if you ask me is the stupidest defense strategy I've ever heard of. You're telling me what ever is hunting you can't track you down once you come SPLASHING back in the water? Also, when I say jump I'm not talking about scratching the surface. I want you to picture (and you won't need to if you watch the video I linked to) those slow motion shark week clips where the great whites look to be setting high jump records. It's nuts how high these guys get! It's also unsafe. People have walked away with broken bones, and even died after being hit by one of these flying behemoths.

After Monday you can now add me to the official list of those who have been attacked. It started like any other afternoon on the river. Here I was just minding my own business when out of nowhere I felt a sudden thud on my stomach. At first I thought I must have accidentally hit myself,(it happens from time to time) but after a few moments I decided to look down anyway. And there he or she was. My three inch long assailant (this one was a baby) flopping around on the canoe floor. I scooped it onto my canoe paddle, took a mental picture of the beast who tried to do me in, and then tossed it back in the water. I figured this act of compassion would save me from any future attacks, but boy was I wrong.

About 20 minutes later another three inch monster came hurdling into the canoe! However this one's aim was a bit off, and instead of crashing into me he instead hit the canoe's inner wall and fell at my feat. I was not so understanding this time around. Of course I released him back into the water, but not before I made him sweat it out a bit. I also gave this one a stern warning that any future attacks would be met with a swift and deadly retaliation.

Only time will tell if my words were enough to scare them off. I just want you all to know if we don't make it wont be because of the gators, the barges, or the disease ridden mosquitoes. No, what would likely do us in will be a war with the Asian Carp.


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