How Fishermen Are Fighting to Control the Asian Carp Population — How to Make It

– This is How to Make It and we’re fishing Asian Carp today. Just north of Peoria
on the Illinois River, this fish was introduced to help control weeds and parasites. But today it’s one of
the most invasive species threatening the Great Lakes. Fishermen have spearheaded
efforts to catch them for consumption and today
I’m joining those efforts to see what it takes. So these carp are an
invasive species obviously. – Yup. – How has that changed in the years that you’ve been out here? I mean the government’s sending people out to clean up the rivers. That’s obviously affecting you. – The things have changed, we used to be called from Buffalo and catfish. Now we got these and like I
said they’re tearing our nets up and they’re just a
lot different fishing. There’s more fish but they was big, now they’re getting smaller so, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I think, I think they’ll end
up being like the zebra mussel and I think they’ll deplete themselves. – It’s maybe a good thing for the lakes. We don’t want ’em getting
too far in the lake. – Well that’s what they’re
worried about, you know. They get in like Lake Michigan and places and it’s hard telling
what’ll happen there. – [Katie] Kills off the whole ecosystem. – Yeah, they probably
will, they probably will. What do they think it would’ve been if we didn’t fish it? – What would this place look like? You could walk on ’em. – And you’re out here every day and other people are out here every day. And still, they’re on top of each other. – Don’t look like you’ve done anything. They’ve just got smaller right? – [Katie] So we’re casting
some nets right now. We’re gonna leave them
out for about an hour. Let’s talk about my fishing experience. It’s at zero. A little scared, there’s fish
jumping out of the water. Think it’s only gonna get worse from here. – [Orion] Gonna run the fish
down, it’ll block off the back. That way when they’re down there we hope it gets trapped in there. Then we can work on ’em. Otherwise they’re too fast for you all. They’ll get out and see the net and they’ll go back and
they won’t turn around. – So we just made a big circle. They’re closed in. (banging noises) We’re making noise right now to get the fish really aggravated. I think it’s working. (upbeat music) – How’s that heavy raincoat working out? (laughing) – I’m always unprepared. What a dumb jacket. (laughing) So we’re gonna pull up some nets soon. I haven’t gotten slapped in the face yet. So I just need two of you to
lay across here real quick. Oh geez, it’s happening. – [Orion] She catches
better than you Caleb. – [Katie] How much do you bring in on an average day in the summer? – [Orion] Fish? – [Katie] Yeah. – [Orion] We try to stay at 10, 12,000. That’s pounds. – [Katie] Pounds of fish. – [Orion] That’s right
now when it’s tough. – Oh shit. (laughing) I kinda like it. – [Orion] She does not
want to quit, I can tell. – You can’t quit a job in the middle. This is a good one. We’re there! Oh my God. – [Orion] There it is. (laughing) – This was awesome. I turned into a different
person for a minute. (guitar music) This is where the fish gets broken down and eventually sold to markets. – [Klark] After they’re weighed, they go into ice water and rinsed. You can’t let them get too warm because as I say they’re soft-bellied. – Wow. – And we will fillet these
and cut these into steaks. And these do go for more
consumption than anything else. Whereas your silver carp can
get grinded up into pet food. – [Katie] Oh wow. – There’s actually a
place in Colorado that’s that Blue Mountain pet food, and these get grinded up and go in there. – That’s like one of the
top dog food companies. What’s most in demand? – It depends on the timeframe. It’s a seasonal thing. So like a lot of times
you’ll have like grass carp will be in demand when
we start the fall out because of the human consumption whereas the yellow carp is always in demand. That’s always in demand overseas. So we send a lot of that overseas. – Wow. – In containers. As we put the fish on the line, we go through ’em each individually. And what they’re doing
is they’re rinsing them, running them under cold water. Even though we’ve had ’em,
we still cool them again. And then they weigh ’em, and then we put ice in the
box so they stay fresh. And then we box them up
and put them on the truck. – So this is the fish that we brought in. – Yes, these are silvers. And what they’re doing is
they’re filleting them right now. – So they’re getting band-sawed in half to get it easier to fillet, clean. You fillet ’em, you sell them whole. – Well sell them round. A lot of people do like the round fish. They like the eggs inside the fish. – I’m sneaking in here. – [Klark] This is a silver carp. – [Katie] Got it. – [Klark] Okay, and he’s gonna show you his process and how he does it. – Yeah, so everyone talks
about how bony these fish are. Are they harder to fillet? Or is it same deal? – [Man] Same. – It’s just bony to eat? – [Man] Yeah. – Yeah, so you don’t really, you can’t really tell right
now it’s when you’re eating it. That it’s hard to get
all the pin bones out. You’re gonna be eating some. I’m gonna try to break this down like any round fish that I’ve handled. Although, I’ve never broken down a carp. So. (upbeat music) So I’ve filleted a carp. I mean you feel all those bones in there. You can’t see ’em, I’ve
said that a thousand times. But it’s certainly more
bony-er, more bony, than any other round fish I’ve filleted. So why, why do you personally
not want to eat it? – We don’t like to work
as hard to eat our food. – Americans don’t want to work that hard. – So they don’t want to take the time to actually fish around the bones. – Do you think this’ll
eventually catch on and we will be eating carp in this country,
just like any other fish? – Yeah I think a lot of it’s market-driven to where we’re at in the market. Because when you smoke a
carp, like a yellow carp. It actually tastes like ham. – [Katie] Thank you so much for taking me through your facility. – [Klark] No problem. – Today was a really
rewarding and satisfying day for me ’cause I often, I’m
only on the receiving end of a nice, clean box of iced fish. I never get to see how
it gets to that stage. So this is a crazy operation
you have going here. And I learned a tremendous amount and I hope everybody did. Eat carp, maybe? Thanks for watching this
episode of How to Make It. For more episodes, click here. – [Woman] All right, so
this is your Ohio skillet. And you’re up. Beautiful. (clapping) – My entire body is like, tense.


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