LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We've shown you how Asian Carp are exploding in numbers, how much of a threat they are to natural habitat and tourism, and how much of the commercial and bow fishermen are able to target -- they're a moving target and one kind is moving in on our area.
Every heave. Every Grunt. Every haul on the Ohio River is a net gain for commercial carp fisherman.
"He just stays underwater and eats," Colton Johnson, a commercial carp fisherman said, characterizing the fish.
Every fish pulled out is a minuscule loss for the overall invasive population.
"We're just scratching the surface, if we're doing that, we'd come back here tomorrow and catch this many, if not more, the same spot," Johnson explained.
Massive schools of Silver and Big Head Carp are already out-competing native fish, but now another threat is feasting further upriver -- black carp.
Black Carp are unlike their relatives Silver and Big Head Carp the South Region Fisheries Supervisor with the Indiana Department of Resources, Dan Carnahan told us.
"The other carp eat plankton, and primarily zooplankton, which is the source for the whole food chain," Carnahan said.
Black Carp eat further up the food chain.
Carnahan pointed out "[Black Carp] a threat to our native mussel and snail populations".
Many of those mussels are already endangered.
Carnahan said Indiana knew before Black Carp were just 8 miles from the state line on the river, but it's likely the fish are now already in state waters. "If you've got one, there's probably more, right? Exactly."
Commercial fisherman Keith Smith caught the fish in question in a hoop net last Wednesday below Newburgh Dam.
That's about a one hundred miles straight shot to downtown Louisville.
Often confused with Grass Carp, Smith told us tests confirmed that this was indeed a Black Carp.
"We're trying to raise awareness to our commercial fishermen and other anglers using the river that might run into a Black Carp that we, we want to know when they catch one and where they catch it at," Carnahan said. "Get it on ice and give us a call and give us the fish, we'll come to pick it up."
As an added incentive to get Black Carp out of the Ohio River and other waterways in Illinois, that state actually has a bounty on the fish...people there can get a hundred bucks for Black Carp.
The FOCUS team has followed this issue and the trickle-down effect impacting our area.
If you have something you want us to look into, send the FOCUS team an email at FOCUS@whas11.com.