The Illinois River Biological Station’s (IRBS) Upper Mississippi River Asian carp removal crew partnered with commercial fishermen to remove a record-breaking 87,500 pounds of silver, bighead, and grass carp from the Mississippi River as part of their annual intensive Asian carp harvest.
The annual spring harvest is IRBS’s largest, and this year crews broke records for most weight removed in a week (51,000 pounds) and most weight removed in a single day (21,000 pounds).
Harvested fish are donated to a fish processor and turned into products such as fertilizer, catfish and crayfish bait, and fish oil among other products.
In conjunction with the harvest, IRBS partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Survey with tagging and hydroacoustic surveys. IRBS crews assisted the U.S. Geological Survey with acoustic fish tagging that aims to evaluate the response of invasive carp and native fish species to an experimental underwater Acoustic Deterrent System and provide bigheaded carp densities and biomass that can benefit monitoring and management programs for these species.
Lastly, special thanks to all of the fishermen, deckhands, and fish processing crew for all of their hard work!