FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2008
Source: Pat Charlebois (847)872-0140; firstname.lastname@example.org
Duane Chapman (573)876-1866; email@example.com
Asian Carp Filets Featured at Bass Pro Shop
URBANA – One way to do your part to help stop the spread of Asian carp into new lakes and streams is to catch and eat them. On Saturday, May 10, from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at Bass Pro Shop in Bolingbrook, you can learn how to filet bighead and silver carp as well as sample free cooked filets.
“Bighead and silver carp have excellent quality flesh, similar to cod, but they have bones in their filets, which create problems when eating the fish,” said Duane Chapman, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) fish biologist. Chapman will be one of several biologists demonstrating how to debone the carp filets. “We will demonstrate how to leave only a few large bones in each piece of fish so that they can be easily eaten,” said Chapman. Bass Pro Shop will provide free samples of cooked filets.
Bighead and silver carp are non-native fishes that have invaded the Mississippi River and its tributaries, including the Illinois River. An electric barrier stands between them and the Great Lakes. “Asian carp have the potential to have dramatic impact on the Great Lakes fish populations because they are filter feeders. They eat plankton, which are the base of the food chain, and they can grow very large,” said Pat Charlebois, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) aquatic invasives specialist.
Chapman is researching food market possibilities as a way to reduce Asian carp populations in these rivers where the fish are taking their toll on the food chain. “Worldwide, silver carp is the most consumed freshwater fish--it is considered the hamburger of Asia,” said Chapman. “The meat is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.”
On Saturday, in addition to demonstrating how to filet an Asian carp, experts from USGS, IISG, the Illinois Natural History Survey and the Army Corp of Engineers will be on hand to provide information about the impact these species are having on Midwest rivers, the latest on the electric barrier, how to prevent injury from jumping silver carp, and how to help prevent the spread of Asian carp.
“Despite the fact that Asian carp may be a good fish to add to your diet, it is critical that they not be introduced to new waters,” said Charlebois. Early detection of Asian carp can help control their spread. “You can help with the monitoring of these fish by learning how to recognize them and reporting any sightings,” added Charlebois.
Bass Pro Shop is located at 709 Janes Avenue in Bolingbrook, Illinois. For more information or directions, visit www.basspro.com. To view or download an Asian carp watch card, visit the IISG web site at www.iisgcp.org/products/free.htm.
The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program is one of 30 National Sea Grant College Programs. Created by Congress in 1966, Sea Grant combines university, government, business and industry expertise to address coastal and Great Lakes needs. Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the University of Illinois and Purdue University.