Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) authored a letter to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet today, calling for a bounty program on Asian carp.
The invasive species, originally introduced in the Midwest in the 1970’s, has expanded through flooding events into the Mississippi River and areas of Louisiana, including the Atchafalaya Basin. Since their introduction, Asian carp have exploded in population and strained ecological resources for native species of commercial and recreational fish.
“Given the lack of commercial demand and the potential for serious ecological effects on Louisiana’s waterways, I am proposing that the Department of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries create a bounty program similar to the Coastwide Nutria Control Program (CNCP),” reads the letter.
The CNCP has been implemented with great success, resulting in a 93 percent reduction in annual nutria herbivory damage.
The letter continues, “a similar program for reducing Asian carp population could prove invaluable to Louisiana’s ecosystem and economy.”