SANDUSKY, Ohio (WDTN) - It sounds like a fish story.
"They were just jumping into the boat," says author Jackson Landers of his encounter with Asian Carp.
The only thing missing? The line, "They were "this" big".
But this story is no tall tale.
"It's real," Landers says. "It's incredible."
If Asian Carp invade, Ohio boaters won't be the only ones who take a hit.
"Any invasive species that gets into a system has a potential to alter that system in a negative manner," says Rich Carter with the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources.
In September a crew of Ohio, Michigan and federal experts were on the hunt for Asian Carp in the Sandusky River, at the head of Lake Erie, but they're far beyond putting worms on a hook.
They used a technique known as Electro-fishing.
Shock waves herd the fish into nets. The goal is to discover proof of Asian Carp.
Today, thankfully, there's none.
But that only deepens the mystery surrounding the fish because previous lake samples showed the carps' environmental DNA.
So the question remains. Is Lake Erie being infested?
"If Asian Carp are present they're present in low numbers," Carter says.
Why worry about the carp invasion?
"What these Asian Carp do is out compete our native fish for that food so they an potentially reduce the numbers of our sport fish that are out there," Carter says.
That could be very costly. Carp could crowd out walleye and take a big bite out of the lake's $800 million sport fishing industry.
Pete Ziehler's car is like a billboard for fishing, filled with bumper stickers.
To him work is for people who don't know how to fish.
"It's just peaceful, Ziehler says. "Nothing like hearing the water run and if I can get a fish that'll make it all better."
Ziehler from Bellbrook is co-founder of the National Association of Professional River Anglers.
He's heard his share of fish stories through the years, but when it comes to Asian Carp, Pete would rather catch anything else.
"You hear the tales and thankfully they're not here," Ziehler says.
More like not here yet..
They have been spotted in the Ohio River near the mouth of the Little Miami, near Cincinnati.
They already pose such a threat to the Great Lakes region that Ohio has joined Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, to find a way to contain them.
There's even an "Asian Carp" czar, picked by President Obama.
Some say Asian Carp can't breed in our fast flowing rivers in the Miami Valley.
Plus, they'd have to swim through dozens of dams.
Still, Pete wonders about the invasion and he thinks it'll take more than bumper sticker wisdom to solve the problem.
"What's going to happen is they're going to want to throw money at the problem and they're going to jump your fishing license, which is going to filter down to buying lures, buying worms," Ziehler says.
There are many schools of thought about to how combat the carp.
Do we spend millions to build an electric barrier to keep them at bay?
How about using poison?
I found a writer who has another idea.
"It's a big problem," Landers says. "It needs an eradication."
Landers is the author of "Eating Aliens." He's all for eliminating the carp. After all, Landers has seen them jump right in the boat.
In his mind, one way to beat 'em, is to eat 'em.
"It's a total myth that this fish is inedible," Landers says.
Landers thinks if you cut and cook them right, Asian Carp are tasty. So maybe soon they will be on the menu at a restaurant near you.
But for now, it remains to be seen how this fish story will end.
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