One carp stirs the (poisoned) waters in Chicago
Illinois state officials poisoned six miles of the Sanitary and Ship Canal southwest of Chicago on Wednesday to determine whether any of the tens of thousands of dead fish that sufaced were Asian carp, an invasive species.
“This is clearly a significant find in this operation that validates why it is so important for this work to be done,” said John Rogner, an assistant director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Illinois considers the carp “an impending ecological disaster for the Great Lakes” but especially for the fisheries there, because they can grow to 100 pounds and can consume up to 40 percent of their body weight daily.
They’re better known for leaping in the air when disturbed by boat motors, sometimes landing in the boats. For this reason, they’ve been declared “injurious widlife.”
The remains of the other fish killed in the canal are headed to a landfill.
The 22-inch carp was about four miles from of an electric barrier that sends electric pulses into the canal to turn the carp around before they reach Lake Michigan. State officials plan to turn off the barrier for maintenance. They poisoned the river to determine how close carp had come to it.
The poison used, Rotenone, is derived from plants, sometimes used in organic farming, and eventually broken down by sunlight. It was chosen because it is easily absorbed by the gills of fish but less easily by the digestive tracts of animals who eat fish. It has been banned in the UK and parts of Canada because of evidence it may contribute to Parkinson’s Disease.
When WGN’s Chicago Breaking News Center reported on the fish kill yesterday, dozens of commenters criticized it as a doomed effort, a waste of tax money, a slaughter of innocent fish, a reckless use of poison. One posted a recipe:
Silver Carp Fillets with Mixed Salad
This is a delicious fish meal!
Ingredients for 4 servings:
8 medium-sized fish fillets
2 tbsp corn flour
2 big onions
Vegetable oil, vinegar, salt
1 tsp grated horse-radish
Roll the fillets into corn flour mixed with salt. Allow to rest for half an hour.
Clean, wash and shred the vegetables. Combine with horse-radish and season with oil, vinegar/lemon/ and salt. Cover the salad and allow it to absorb the spices. Fry the fillets till brown both sides. Place over paper to absorb grease. Serve with salad and rounds of lemon. This is a light and healthy dish. It rivals meat dishes in its nutritional value….
The fish goes with white wine.
Enjoy your meal!