Watch Out, Invasive Carp!
A New Battleship has joined the Fleet!
BY JEREMIAH SMITH, COLUMBIA FWCO
Over the last year, I have enjoyed working on a new sampling technique to capture invasive carp. It took three years, but little-by-little Jeff Finley, Wyatt Doyle and others at the Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO)have worked together to construct a prototype Butterfly-skimmer, also known as Paupier, boat designed to capture invasive carp. As we saw our prototype come to full fruition in the form of a modified work boat, we decided to build a new state-of-the art Paupier called the “Magna Carpa”.
In the past, we have sampled many different water bodies across the Midwest for invasive carp and with each and every field sampling trip, something seemed to break or go wrong. We would take one step forward and get knocked back two. Through the process though we had a vision of what a fully serviceable invasive carp battleship needed to look like. After a lot of trial and error at our office, we were finally able to perfect our design. We will be launching our new vessel next week. The Magna Carpa will be capable of deploying two electrified 12 foot nets off the sides of the boat, as well as tow a 35 foot surface trawl. The electricity can be compartmentalized in two different fields on either side of the boat to enable paired comparisons with electricity as a variable in determining how to best target carp of various sizes in different water conductivities.
Our boats are fully mechanized now and capable of sampling any body of water for any size of carp. We have shown we are capable of capturing thousands of young of the year carp in our surface trawls, and thousands of pounds of silver carps in a day. We are very excited to start writing the manual on how to use these techniques for invasive and native species management in the Midwest Region.