Fish and Wildlife officials are urging residents to obey fishing laws in hopes of keeping Asian carp out of Monroe Lake. Fisheries biologist Dave Kittaka, at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, says Asian carp have recently been discovered in the tailwater area near the lake. The fish can grow larger than 40 pounds and are known to jump out of the water as motorized boats approach. Kittaka says carp have caused problems in nearby rivers.
It is illegal to bring carp into the lake. But, Kittaka suspects anglers have been cast-netting in the tailwater area recently, looking for small fish to be used as bait. Several dead carp were found on rocks in that area, and Kittaka believes the fish were left there by anglers. The fish are known to have ventured into the tailwater area in the past.
Kittaka says anglers are allowed to use cast nets to collect small fish for bait. But he says they are not allowed to use bait from the tailwater area to fish in Monroe Lake. And he says there are laws against possessing Asian carp.
Asian carp were first introduced in the United States in the 1970s by commercial fishermen. They were used to eat fish pond algae. Since then, they have spread to many large bodies of water, and there is concern they will soon affect the ecosystem in the Great Lakes.