If you are an avid fisher who could use a little extra money, this is something that might be up your alley.

I was at Patoka Lake this weekend and saw a group of carp at the marina begging for folks to feed them. It was then that I was reminded if these were black carp, I'd be rich! The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is offering a $100 carcass bounty for black carp captured in Illinois and its adjoining states such as Kentucky and Indiana. This bounty program is funded by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and administered by Southern Illinois University.

Black Carp Captured In Southern Indiana

You typically don't hear too much about black carp in the Evansville area, but they are out there. In July 2019, three black carp were captured in the Ohio River just downstream of Newburgh Lock and Dam, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. There have also been reports of a few other black carp captured in Newburgh, Henderson, and Evansville over the past couple of years. They're out there, but it's easy to confuse them with other species of carp.

How To Identify Black Carp Compared To Other Carp Species

One thing should be noted when it comes to catching black carp, they look very similar to grass carp. The main difference is that black carp are blacker than grass carp, hence their name. DNR has a very helpful identification sheet that you can view here.

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Why Are Black Carp A Problem?

According to DNR, black carp are native to eastern Asia and were brought to the United States during the 1970-80s. These fish pose a serious threat to Indiana's mussel population. Many of the mussel species native to Indiana are already listed as species of special concern or endangered due to pollution and changes in river habitat.

How To Capture A Black Carp And What To Do After

That is why DNR is offering a $100 bounty for every black carp caught. These fish can be caught using traditional baits, however, those who bowfish are more likely to see and catch them.

DNR recommends that if you catch a black carp, follow the keep, cool, call procedure:

  • Keep the fish and make note of its location.
  • Cool the fish on ice once you have killed it.
  • Call the DNR at 1-866-663-9684 to report the fish.

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