Eliminate carp to clean up lakes -- Abby Asmuth

March 3, 2019

The Yahara Lakes have always been a beacon of joy to Madisonians. Around 60 percent of Dane County residents told surveyors they relish time at the water’s edge. But our beautiful lakes are in danger.

In the 1800s, the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries brought carp into the United States from Europe to add a new game fish and source for food. Little did they know that, in due time, carp would become known for distorting ecosystems.

In less than 200 years, carp have had a heinous effect on our lakes. Have you ever seen a particularly murky segment of the lake? Have you ever been warned against swimming in the lake due to blue-green algae? Carp disturb submerged vegetation, which stirs up phosphorus, causing situations such as these.

Many local groups are organizing “carp harvests” to help eliminate the species. We all can help, too. If we encounter dead carp on our properties, we should dispose of the fish -- though dead, their corpses create an undesirable odor.

To be able to swim in our lakes, to stop the spread of blue-green algae and to ensure the beauty of our lakes, we must eliminate carp.

Abby Asmuth, Madison