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Monroe Lake Anglers Must Take Precautions Against Asian Carp
Updated September 29, 2015 11:36 AM | Filed under: Natural Resources
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(MONROE LAKE) - Invasive Asian carp are knocking on Monroe Lake's door, and DNR officials are warning anglers not to let them in.

Silver and bighead carp (collectively referred to as Asian carp) have been found in Salt Creek, directly below the Monroe Lake dam. The dam prevents the carp from entering the lake.

But fisheries biologists with the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife are concerned that anglers collecting baitfish from Salt Creek might mistake juvenile Asian carp for gizzard shad and introduce the carp into Monroe Lake.

Using live gizzard shad is a common way to fish for hybrid striped bass at Monroe Lake. The method is legal at Monroe Lake as long as the fish were collected in the lake.

Collecting live gizzard shad in Salt Creek and using them at Monroe Lake is against the law. It is also difficult to distinguish gizzard shad from juvenile Asian carp.

Earlier this month, DNR researchers cast a net in Salt Creek below the dam to determine the prevalence of Asian carp and how easy it would be to catch them while targeting gizzard shad. In just six casts, they caught 52 juvenile Asian carp.

Anglers fishing Monroe Lake are reminded to collect their bait fish in Monroe Lake only. Do not transport fish from one body of water to another.

Anglers also should dispose of all unused baitfish, including fish parts, on shore, in a trash can. Never release bait into the water.

Asian carp can cause enormous damage to native species by outcompeting existing fish for food, specifically plankton. By consuming so much plankton, the carp affect the entire aquatic food chain, including sport fish that feed on plankton-eating fish.

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