This winter we were able to witness a carping operation on Clam Lake. It was fascinating and I think the photos I’ve posted below tell a lot of the story. Although it’s hard to translate the whole picture without sharing the smell, but count yourself lucky on that one!
Clam Lake has been overcome with carp and they’ve wreaked havoc on the natural fishery as well as the wild rice that grows at the edges of the lake. It’s become so bad that the Clam Lake Association along with other interested parties hired a fishing firm to collect the carp from the lake.
The carp stick together in large schools, so the DNR was able to fly over the lake and see where they were through the ice. This helped the fishermen understand where to cut their hole and where to target their net.
Once they cut through the ice, they set up a landing area where they could pull nets full of carp for retrieval. Their operation allowed for fish sorting and they threw back the “good fish” and loaded the carp in special trucks, where they would be shipped to areas where they could be sold. Apparently there is a strong international market for carp and the eggs are a marketable commodity as well. Yikes, really???
The operation took several days and drew a small village of spectators. There seemed to always be a collection of people sharing 6 packs of beer. I’m sure if there was a hotdog vendor on site, it would have gone over well. But did I mention the smell?