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A Missouri man’s big recent catch wasn’t just noteworthy for the size of the fish – it was also an invasive species that threatens endangered animals.
Jesse Hughes landed a 112-pound black carp from the Osage River last week, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Black carp are invasive and listed on the state’s prohibited species list because of the damage they can do to the local environment by eating mussels and snails, according to the MDC.
Jesse Hughes of Bonnots Mill caught an invasive black carp in Osage County March 4. Hughes was catfishing when he reeled in the 112-pound fish from the Osage River upstream of the Bonnots Mill Access.
(Missouri Department of Conservation)
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Hughes had been catfishing with friends Thursday when he hooked it.
“We hooked into it and knew it was something big, but I originally thought it was a catfish,” he said in a statement provided by the MDC. “It was the first I’d heard of a black carp. I didn’t know anything about it, so this has been quite the learning experience.”
Jesse Hughes landed a 112-pound black carp from the Osage River last week, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. (iStock)
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Black carp were introduced in the U.S. in an effort to control snail populations in commercial fisheries. They were believed to be sterile, but fertile fish have been found, too, according to the MDC. About 30 black carp escaped from a fish farm during a flood in 1994 and they have been found in the Mississippi River system since, including the Osage where Hughes caught his.
The United States Geological Survey is studying the black carp caught by Hughes.
Black carp look similar to common grass carp, but darker, according to the MDC.
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“If anglers happen to catch black carp, or any invasive fish, while fishing in Missouri waters, it’s imperative to contact their local conservation agent,” Andrew Branson, MDC fisheries programs specialist said in a written statement. “That way, our fisheries staff can be notified and monitor the spread of these destructive species.”
Black carp look similar to common grass carp, but darker, according to the MDC. The invasive fish are also said to have a narrower snout, and large throat teeth resembling human molars, that they use to crush mollusk shells or other prey.
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