Jump to content

Big Mouth Carp

Norm M

Recommended Posts

A big mouth carp was snagged earlier this week by a gentleman fishing for walleye in the City of Kankakee. The fish was taken to a local bait shop for photos and measurement, it was 40 inches and weighed 28.2 lbs.


The fisherman who caught is a very reputable man known to me and he did the right things. He reported the fish to proper authority as requested in the back pages of the IDNR regulation booklet and turned the fish over to the IDNR.


If you should catch one you should not return it to the water as it is an invasive specie. Take pictures, digital if possible to send to the IDNR along with a report of the incident. If possible keep the fish until it's known if the IDNR or or government agency wants it. If they don't I guess you could smoke it, turn it into fertilizer for the garden or feed the racoons.


The numbers to contact are on the invasive species pages in the IDNR regulations handbook. I will give them here for your convenience:

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program 847-872-8677

Illinois Dept Natural Resources 309-968-7531


I spoke with an IDNR biologist today on the subject and the current thought is that this is an isolated fish. They feel this way as they have not shown up in thier electroshock surveys which they conduct at multiple locations on the river. These fish react strongly to electrical current and will leap out of the water thus making them hard to miss. The fish are present in large numbers in the Illinois river although they are not found in large numbers past the Dresden Lock and Dam.


I have reports of one fish being shocked by the IDNR at the mouth of the Kankakee River that I found out about after speaking with the biologist so I was not able to confirm that. I have heard about but not seen a photo of a juvenile big mouth carp that was caught in the K3 about 5 years ago. Unfortunately that person has since passed away so I cannot confirm that one. Another unconfirmed report involves bigmouth carp being gigged[speared] in Watseka during the recent floods on the Iroquois.


Once again at this point only one confirmed big mouth which of course doesn't mean there are not others present. What this means remains unclear at this point, the person I spoke to could offer no good reason for the small numbers downstream of Dresden or the lack of sightings in the Kankakee. There may be some unknown biological factor at work or they just simply have not expanded thier range yet.


I was asked to pass on that the IDNR would appreciate our being additional eyes and ears for them. Simply put there are a lot more of us and we log a lot of hours on the area rivers. Please report any invasives to the proper authority and if anyone catches any on the Kankakee please drop me a note as well.


The print media are aware of this incident, Bill Byrns of The Kankakee Daily Journal and Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun Times both know for sure. I wouldn't be surprised to see stories soon in both papers.


Thank You for reading and keeping your eyes and ears open.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Remember too that it could have been a bait bucket introduction.

Minnows are hard to identify, and has been the likely case in other invasive introductions where they otherwise couldn't have migrated to a specific place.


The Wilmington millrace leaves me intrigued.

Not sure how easily fish can traverse the broken dam.

More food for thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

high water events last few years have seen the water levels higher than either dam in Wilmington.

With the way these fish leap even at normal pool the main dam in Wilmington isn't that much of an obstacle.


Got an email from Bill Byrns, article coming soon in the Journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...