Michigan Asian Carp Baitfish Inspection

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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding anglers to monitor their live bait purchases to look for juvenile invasive (Asian) carp.

Many people don’t realize that juvenile invasive carp (bighead and silver) pose a threat to Michigian waters, according to DNR.

Juvenile invasive carp can be confused with common baitfish, such as gizzard shad, emerald shiner, spottail shiner or golden shiner. Because bait often is transported across state lines, including from areas with breeding populations of invasive carp, it is possible for juvenile invasive carp to make their way into the bait supply.

A video is available online to assist anglers and the public in identifying juvenile invasive carp. It shows five characteristics viewers should familiarize themselves with to distinguish between juvenile invasive carp (bighead and silver) and common baitfish.

Distinguishing characteristics include body color; scale pattern, shape and size; eye size and location on the head; mouth shape and location, and the presence or absence of keels on the bottom side of the fish.

The video can be viewed on Michigan’s invasive species website at Michigan.gov/invasivespecies. The video also describes what to do if an angler thinks he has a juvenile invasive carp in his bait bucket, or any odd-looking fish for that matter.

Anglers are encouraged to keep the questionable fish alive or freeze the fish and contact the DNR to correctly identify the fish in question. The DNR does not want questionable fish to be used as bait. Once anglers are done fishing, remaining baitfish should be disposed of in the trash.

This video is one of several items the DNR has developed to educate the public about invasive carp. For more information on this issue, visit Michigan.gov/invasivespecies.

source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources