I thought about the common carp Friday night when I saw a man sporting a bowfishing tee shirt. I have a hard time believing that carp has a listing as a vulnerable species. I have seen bowfishers on television shoot them at will and toss the carcasses in a trash can. Even my chiropractor gives free back adjustments to the bowfishers who take him out on the Grand River to give carps in the bayou the blade. I have read of lake associations that have campaigned to have all the carp removed from their waters because the carp so rip up the water vegetation and muddy up the waters. I have read of a dozen ways to lower the carp populations in rivers and streams, including infecting them with Koi herpes virus.
I have often been amused by carp and their spring spawning dances. In shallow warm water, the carp will swarm in packs. Wade right up to them, and the fish will not scatter. I have witnessed this in the inlet of shallow water between the old Sappi Paper Mill property and the old Grand Trunk docks. I have seen hundreds riling up the water of the rock shallows off the top of Mission Peninsula, north of Traverse City. History records when the carp probably entered the Great Lakes as an invasive species. A flood in Newmarket, Ontario allowed a population to swim into the Holland River.
People still like to catch them by rod and reel. A competition in Manitowoc, Wisconsin attracts plenty of anglers in the early spring. In Asia, the carp has a following as a food fish. In America, we turn up our nose to the carp, which was introduced to North America as a food fish in 1831.