PEORIA, Illinois (CNN) — Asian carp fish are out of control in the Illinois River.
In fact, they are leaping out of the water by the dozens — and onto passing boats.
That’s a danger to fishermen but also a boon.
“It’s like somebody set off an explosion under water, they’re just everywhere,” said fisherman Zach Nayden. “These fish would be the equivalent of getting hit in the head with probably a brick or a bowling ball.”
And they won’t stop coming. The long, moving river makes for ideal breeding conditions. It’s a hunting hot spot.
“We troll through it at a certain speed to get them agitated and jump and guys just let the arrow fly,” Nayden said.
On a good day, Nayden catches 20. Tuesday, he caught 180. It’s a developing market with no regulations.
“I’m hoping I get to do this for many years to come,” Nayden said. “It’s definitely a great way to spend a summer. If there’s some industry surrounding this it would be great.”
The Asian carp were brought to America in the 1970s to clean up freshwater. Now, they are an invasive species with some fish growing to more than 100 pounds.
Rose-ann Aragon reporting