Invading our waters, a FOX19 investigation of Asian Carp - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

FOX19 Investigates: Asian Carp invading our waters

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(FOX19) -

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19/WAVE) – For generations, nothing could harm them. The waterways winding around the Tri-State were delicately balanced, just as nature intended. Even modern problems like chemical spills and sewage spills didn't really put our rivers and lakes in long-term danger. But now something's off.

Asian carp are taking over waterways in our own backyard --- from Louisville to Cincinnati and beyond.

"There are so many of them that they're out-competing some of our native fish," said Sara Tripp, a Kentucky fisheries biologist.

In waterways they've invaded, Asian carp make-up 95-percent of the water environment. Our Raycom colleagues have videotaped them leaping out of the water where the Salt River meets the Ohio.

Yes, leaping.

"They jump high out of the water and can jump in the boat, jump into you," said Tripp.

Just hold out your net and catch them. It could be the most successful day of fishing you've ever had. Or the most dangerous. You see, these fish can knock you out of your boat. The Asian carp found in the Tri-State can weigh about 20 pounds. That's like a toddler flying through the air right toward you.

Downstream, fish and wildlife workers aren't taking chances.

"They wear helmets," said Tripp. "They also build cages up and around the throttle and steering wheel so whenever they jump they're not breaking the boat."

Asian carp can leap as high as five feet into the air. That helps explain how they've managed to make the 1,000 mile trip upstream, despite all the locks and dams, and into the waterways of the Tri-State. Unfortunately, it's our native fish that may pay the price.

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