“If you can’t beat ’em – eat ’em!” – Silver Carp Solutions

Published: March 17, 2015

Presentation by Mark Morgan, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Missouri School of Natural Resources

This presentation was originally given on March 17, 2015 at Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro in Rocheport, MO

Few people have spent much time on the Missouri River in recent years without a close encounter with the infamous flying carp. From sliming your boat to whacking your head, silver carp are an “in your face” kind of fish.

The silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), the species of invasive carp known for leaping in the air when startled, has become a major problem in the Mississippi River watershed. Photo courtesy of Duane Chapman, USGS.

The spread of two invasive species of carp  is transforming the ecology of rivers throughout the Mississippi River Watershed, and the Missouri River is no exception. Some estimates claim that silver and bighead carp make up 80% of the total biomass in these rivers.

Associate Professor Mark Morgan is part of a movement to control populations of these invaders by turning them into a marketable commodity. If you can’t beat them, eat them! These two species of carp are prized throughout the world but considered a “trash fish” in the U.S. So part of the trick to getting them on the market is finding products that Americans will consume.

His current project is focused on connecting local restaurants with regional carp processing plants and promoting recreational fishing for asian carp.

Mark Morgan, PhD, is an associate professor in the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Natural Resources researching the social aspects of natural resource management through education and outreach. He recently led a project to collect “fish stories” from across the Ozark region, resulting in the publishing of the book “Hook, Line & Sinker – A Collection of Fish Tales from Missouri Anglers”.

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Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Kansas City and St. Charles.

The Big Muddy Speaker Series is partially funded by the Columbia Ecological Services Field Office (USFWS) and the Mo. Dept. of Conservation.

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