State wildlife officials say it was bound to happen eventually. Evidence of Asian carp has been found in Wisconsin waterways, with an angler recently catching a bighead carp in the Lower Wisconsin River and traces of silver carp DNA found in the St. Croix River last month.
DNR Aquatic Invasive Species coordinator Bob Wakeman says they always knew it was going to happen, but for now it only appears a small number of the fish are making their way into the state from the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Wakeman says there does not appear to be a breeding population present right now, which is also a good sign.
Asian carp have long been a concern because the fish are voracious eaters of plankton, which makes up much of the aquatic food chain. The carp filter out the plankton and deprive native fish and wildlife of their most common food source.
Wakeman says the DNR is calling on anglers to help them keep track of where the species of carp appears. He says anyone who catches what they suspect to be a bighead or silver carp should take a photo and put the fish on ice, then take the evidence to a DNR warden to review.
Boaters are also urged to follow rules designed to stop the spread of invasive species, such as draining live wells and not moving live fish.