Fishermen asked to check their bait for Asian carp

Jun 3, 2015

Juvenile Asian carp look a lot like other types of bait but their eyes are set lower.
Credit Michigan Radio

Fisheries managers in Michigan are enlisting fishermen in the fight against Asian carp infestation. The state Department of Natural Resources is asking anglers to inspect their live bait for juvenile Asian carp.

The small fish look very similar to minnows and other common types of bait but their eyes are set lower on their bodies. DNR Resources Manager Nick Popoff says their eyes are “sub-terminal.”

“So, if you drew a line from the tip of their nose back to the middle of their tail, their eyes are usually in the middle or below that line," says Popoff. "And for every other native fish in Michigan, it’s above that line.”

Popoff says there hasn’t yet been a report of Asian carp bait in Michigan.

“We haven’t seen it in the past but we know of areas where bait is harvested and imported into the state," he says. "These same areas also have infestations of Asian carp. So, it’s just a way to get ahead of the game, if we can.”

Popoff says South Dakota and Arkansas ship a lot of live bait to Michigan. Both states have infestations of Asian carp.

DNR has prepared a video to show fishermen how to identify juvenile Asian carp.