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VICE News

An Invasive Species of Fish Is Taking Over America's Waterways

Asian carp—a slimy, ugly, and often gargantuan species of invasive fish—have taken over many US lakes and rivers.

by VICE News
Sep 24 2014, 6:52pm

Asian carp—a slimy, ugly, and often gargantuan species of fish—have taken over many waterways in the United States. First introduced in the US in the 1960s to control weeds and parasites at aquatic farms in Arkansas, the bottom feeders eventually escaped and made their way through the Mississippi River system, eating almost everything in their path and severely damaging ecosystems across the Midwest. Today, government officials are concerned that the fish will invade the Great Lakes, destroy more ecosystems, wreak havoc on the region's multibillion dollar fishing industry, and spread to almost every major waterway in the Northeast.

VICE News traveled across Illinois to see how people are dealing with the Asian carp invasion, visiting the Redneck Fishing Tournament—where the sole mission is to catch as many carp as possible—touring a processing plant trying to monetize the fish, and then heading to Chicago, where we learned that Asian carp are a symptom of a much larger issue.