"Illinois River silver carp jump after being disturbed by boats earlier this month." Image credit:HoumaToday
Mid-Westerners are so desperate to halt a threatened Great Lakes invasion by the aggressive and ecologically destructive Asian Carp, a.k.a. the 'flying'or 'silver' carp, that the US State of Michigan is suing Illinois, pushing for permanent navigation lock closure; and, a downtown Chicago segment of the Illinois River was recently poisoned with rotenone, killing all gill breathers, so as to prevent the flying carp's passage into Lake Michigan. Expensive and unproven solutions, they are; but, all we've got. Enter from stage South, an LSU AgCenter video series which proclaims the culinary virtues of the Gengis Khan of bottom feeders.See the video Silver or flying carp..".Flying Fish, Great Dish", video, by clicking here. #1
The video commentator for the carp-eater video Flying Fish, Great Dish (above link), makes the claim that because the Asian carp 'feeds at the bottom of the food chain' that it is likely to be less contaminated. I don't buy this, and won't until I see data to substantiate it for the Great Lakes.
Rough fish in general, including the European carp, root around on the muddy bottom, feeding on algae, 'is true. Problem is, filamentous algae and other aquatic plants host
a multitude of bottom creatures that freely partake of the PCB and metal laden muck of Great Lakes rivers, harbors and canals...plus a good measure of muck thrown in.
Having netted and arrowed many a sucker and carp myself, I can readily attest to them disgorging from their gullets, wads of jello-like, smelly, bottom-sucked loon$_t when pulled ashore.
Eat all the carp you like from clean waters, but my advice is this. Skip the Great Lakes carp until the harbor and river sediments are shown to be free of serious toxins. Carp gravitate to the warm waters of harbors and estuaries, which is where contaminants tend to be highest.
Image credit:International Joint Commission.
Until a time that Great Lakes carp are demonstrably cleaner, 'Thank the Lord for farm-raised Tilapia and pass the Rotenone."
Finally, here's my favorite recipe for smoked carp.
- Fillet and skin several large carp, taking care to remove as much fatty tissue as possible.
- Slice the fillets into strips; soak in refrigerated brown sugar and salt brine solution for at least 24 hours.
- Smoke over hickory or maple on a very low flame for 9 to 12 hours.
- In the last hour, open the air flow to raise flue temperature, making certain that the carp fillets reach at least 123 degrees F for one hour.
- Finally, throw the fully smoked carp fillets into a hazardous waste landfill and eat the remaining lumps of charcoal covered with oily fish drippings. Yumm.
Additional posts on the Asian carp invasion of the upper Midwest.
Was it Worth It? One Asian Carp Found After Six Miles of River
Swimming to Chicago: Asian Carp
Interview with Lindsay Chadderton, the Scientist Who Discovered
What Jumps In Peoria Today Is In The Human Food Chain Tomorrow
Asian Carp Fever Grips Great Lakes, Monster Invasive Fish May