You’ve probably seen the YouTube videos of Asian carp jumping out of the water as a passing boat stirs them up. (If not, check out the clip below.) The City of Chicago has definitely noticed them. And the city is considering blocking its canal system to keep the fish out of Lake Michigan.
The invasive species was introduced in the southern United States to control algae in sewage treatment plants. But, as these things go, the voracious eaters made their way out of the Mississippi River and traveled to the northern reaches of the upper Midwest.
"I've gone down the river and had these fish jump up and hit me in the face,” Michael Beecham, a local environmentalist told a public meeting on the issue.
The Army Corps of Engineers tried an electric fence to keep the fish out, but it didn’t work.
Dirk Fucik runs a fish shop in Chicago, and he told the BBC he had a better idea: a carp burger, seasoned with a little pepper and lemon zest.
"To catch it and throw it away is a waste," Fucik says. "Eating them helps solve the problem and also provides jobs."
Photo: Jim Weber/Corbis