There is a very invasive form of fish called Asian Carp. Incredibly fast-growing, aggressive, and adaptable, these fish are out-competing native fish species for food and habitat in much of the mid-section of the United States.
Asian Carp were introduced into Southern fish farm ponds in the 1970's and quickly spread across the United States. They are now on the verge of invading the Great Lakes. The presence of Asian Carp is detrimental to the native fish populations in the lakes and rivers that they infest because they out-compete other fish for food and space. Carp are also thought to lower water quality, which can kill off sensitive organisms like native freshwater mussels. Asian carp have been known to dominate entire streams, effectively pushing out the native species.
Silver Carp are known to jump out of the water at high speeds, which can injure boaters and damage boating equipment. Experts are worried that if these fish get into the Great Lakes, they may adversely impact the area's $7 billion/year fishing industry. By out-competing native fish species for food and habitat, carp can reduce the populations of native fish that are so important to fishermen. Even if Asian Carp are kept out of the Great Lakes, continued spread throughout the Mississippi River watershed could result in them reaching 31 states and 40% of the continental United States, spelling disaster for our nation's freshwater ecosystems.
In an effort to reduce Asian Carp populations, towns throughout the region have declared open season on these non-native species, including bow-fishing while on the back of a moving boat.