Silver Carp Caught in James River
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has verified a recent catch of a silver carp by an angler fishing the James River near LaMoure. Silver carp, an exotic species, are well established in the lower Missouri River and in the James River in South Dakota. This is the first report of this aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota waters.
Lynn Schlueter, Game and Fish aquatic nuisance species coordinator, said department personnel are disappointed but not surprised that silver carp have entered the state.
“Record high flows in the James River this year have facilitated their movements upstream, causing them to move up the James River in South Dakota in recent years,” Schlueter said.
Game and Fish staff will conduct additional sampling in the specific location where the unwanted carp was caught, in addition to surrounding areas of the James River.
“Control measures for these species are largely ineffective,” Schlueter said. “Once established in a large river system they are virtually impossible to eliminate.”
Silver carp out-compete native and other game fish in large river systems. They eat phytoplankton, a food item used by zooplankton, which in turn are eaten by small game fish. They concentrate below dams and can drive out desirable fish. When frightened, they can jump several feet out of the water, thereby posing a danger to boaters and skiers.