You’ve probably heard that the carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a type of fish that is dangerous to the environment and should be killed immediately after catching it. In fact, the fish species have been reported to be a menace to local diversity in some places across the globe. Some states require you to kill this fish species if you catch it. While each state may have its own requirements regarding this fish species, most states consider the carp to be an invasive species. So, are you supposed to kill carp fish whenever you catch one? Read on to learn what to do with carp, plus helpful tips to kill it if you have to!
Primary Reason for Killing Carp
Carp can cause significant damage to our waterways, and they can destroy the habitat that native fish and birds use. They’re basically terrible fish we must kill to help prevent them from ruining our environment. If you’re patriotic, you’ll not allow them to return to the water. If you cannot tolerate killing Carp, there are other methods you can use. For instance, if you don’t like the taste of Carp, you can use them as a source of valuable nutrients on your farm.
What Do You Do With Carp?
Carp are not only harmful to your water quality but also destroy the habitats of many species of native fish. Fish that are generally bad for the environment are something we need to get rid of to preserve our ecosystem. If you love the waterways in your state, you will not allow carp back into the water. Some people don’t like their taste, but you can use them to enrich your garden with nutrients. There are different ways to get rid of the carps you just caught, such as:
1. Cook the Fish
You will want to preserve some carp in your home for food. Just keep it alive as long as possible to ensure it tastes fresh. You’ll need to remove all the meat from the dead carp by taking a sharp knife and running it down the body from head to tail. Press down and shake the fish to remove the fish scales. After you have finished cleaning and scaling the fish, you can start to filet the carp by cutting the fish meat from under the gills.
Cut through the fatty part of the fish and remove all the bones and ribs. After that, start to cut through the meat and toward the tail. When you are done with one side of the carp, continue to work on the other side. Do not go into the fish and pierce its intestines. If you do that, you will have to throw out the fish because your catch will become unpleasant.
When you grill skinless fish like salmon and walleye, you can cook them as you would a steak. However, when you are grilling carp, something called a “mud vein” runs across the fish’s skin that you should remove. You will remove the mud vein by making two v-cuts on each side of the lateral line. Also, remove the meat that runs along the vein.
Cook the fillets in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, spread some butter in a baking dish to evenly distribute the oil. Add some lemon wedges to the top of the carp to keep them moist, and place tinfoil on the sides of the pan to keep it from sticking to the pan. It would be delicious to top the carp with some boiled potatoes or some cooked spinach for a delicious dinner.
If you have done the job right, you can get great-tasting carp any time of the year. However, you may cook the fish very well but still end up with some acquired tastes that you may dislike.
2. Smoke the Carp
If you want to smoke a whole carp, you should first juice a lemon and add some pineapple juice. After doing that, put the mixture in a bowl and mix it. Grab some salt and pepper and put some of that in the bowl. Lastly, take a brush and mix everything in the bowl. We don’t recommend that you smoke a whole carp when it has scales on it because the mud veins are very unpleasant.
Smoking carp takes around 10 hours. When the meat is done, at 145 degrees, remove the fish from the smoker and, with a spatula, remove the meat. Add some fresh lemon juice to it and enjoy.
3. Compost Carp
You can use the flesh of the carp to fertilize your plants, especially if you do not like its taste. Many people swear by the flesh of dead Asian carp as a fertilizer for their gardens. There have been many reports that people had tomatoes that were up to eight feet tall after composting the dead carp. What you have done is use an aquatic animal, which is an invasive species that is hurting the environment, as a fertilizer.
Compositing carp properly requires you to dry it completely. After you let the dead carp sit out in the sun for a few days, you will want to start breaking it up and throwing the parts in the garden. This will help the plants grow stronger and produce more food. You want to quickly get rid of the carcass of the dead carp in order to keep the smell to a minimum. You can also grind it up and put it in your compost pile.
It is very helpful because the heat from a compost pile kills the germs and harmful bacteria you don’t want in your vegetables. You also don’t want your compost pile to smell like rotting food that was thrown in a garbage bag. You will be able to successfully compost the carcasses of the dead carp and grow new plants from the compost.
Never Throw Dead Carp into The Lake
Logically, some people may think that it’s a good idea to throw it back into the waterways for other fish species to eat! It is illegal to kill and throw dead fish into the water, and it can attract a hefty fine. What you could do with the carcass is to put it to better use. Even if the fish isn’t dead yet, it’s illegal to let them back into the lake.
Remember, you might not like to eat carp, but someone else may like to eat them. So, you can give them to a neighbor or a friend who might like their taste. Giving away your carp to someone who needs it is much better than throwing it in the trash.
Some States Advocates for Specific Killing
In Texas, silver carp and bighead are considered exotic species. Killing them by beheading, gutting, or gill cutting them would be the best option. Always keep up with changes in your state laws, as rules may vary with time. Some states have very different requirements, but many countries consider Carp an invasive species.
Since these fish are so abundant, they may be able to compete with native fish for food. What’s more, they spawn so many eggs and could affect your area’s wildlife. Some states, such as Indiana, make it illegal to throw back the Carp that jumped into your boat. You have to kill them immediately. Think of it as fulfilling a favor for our environment.
No Limits for Killing Carp in the Many States
Most states do not have limits for killing Carp. Some go to the extent of bowfishing and killing as many as 25 carp in one day. Not to mention, some states allow you to kill all the Carp in one session. But that doesn’t even get rid of the millions of Carp reproducing in huge numbers, which means that some of our rivers and lakes are in danger.
Asian Carp are a perfect example of fish that endangers our local waters badly. Carp cause water to become polluted because they cause sediment to rise in our waterways, killing sensitive creatures like mussels. This fish species causes several negative impacts on the Mississippi River due to its prolific spawning and feeding habits.
If you plan to have fun with some friends, go bowfish with them. Finding a few carp and taking them home is fun and offers you plenty of food. Just make sure that you don’t eat a lot of Carp because some waters are very toxic to fish. Killing carp fish is like draining the sea with a bucket. You will never catch all of them, but you can try hard to get a good number of them.
Carp Vs. Bass
Carp will destroy the nesting grounds for bass and disrupt their living. If you like to fish for bass, don’t be surprised that Carp might ruin your fishing trips. Some people think it’s a myth, but there is no doubt that Carp will destroy the vegetation and leave bass no grounds to hide. Other fish species may join Carp in invading and killing many of the local bass. Bass can’t spawn successfully with the presence of a lot of Carp, and unless we kill all the carp population, the bass will die off entirely.
National Wide Carp Control
The NCCP aims to investigate the possibility of releasing a carp virus, CyHV-3 (Cyprinid herpesvirus 3), to lower the Carp in the ocean’s population significantly. Researchers from Queensland University have tested the impacts of the CyHV-3 virus on 13 different native fish species, frogs, chickens, turtles, and mice and found that the virus does not cause any harm to any of these other species. The CyHV-3 virus is extremely infectious and is primarily transmitted by infected Carp to the entire Carp population. The virus might also be spread through the water to other fish when a healthy fish swims in the water with an infected fish. Moreover, this virus can stay active for up to 3 days in these water bodies. The CyHV-3 virus may cause symptoms in fish at temperatures between 18 to 28 °C.
How Do You Kill Carp Fish?
Many people often ask why some hunters and anglers do everything they can to kill the carp game painlessly and quickly. It’s a norm to meet others who simply put their fish on the shore to suffocate. Experienced anglers kill the carp as soon they get hold of their catch. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or beginner angler, here are a few ways to kill the carp:
1. Break the Neck
This is a good technique to use if you have no other way to kill the fish, especially if you are trapped in a river with only your hands. Although it may not be a good technique to try to kill big bass or smallmouth bluegill, it’s a great way to kill a carp quickly.
This is perfect for killing nice-sized carps since they won’t hurt your hands. This method kills the fish very quickly since you only need your palm to pull the fish up and backward. You can also use the base of your thumb to force the fish to stay still.
However, this technique can be scary the first time you do it since you’re literally forcing the fish to die right in your hands. But, if you pull the fish back very carefully, it kills the fish very quickly. There is very little room for error if you pull back strongly and smoothly. It’s also very humane and easy to do since all you need is a few simple tools to kill a fish.
2. A Blow to the Head
This is probably one of the oldest and easiest techniques that fishers have used for decades. A very strong bonk to the head can kill a fish very quickly. With an instant kill, the fish does not have to suffer until it dies on the boat; it happens instantly.
If you are out fishing alone and you have no way to kill a carp, a big, heavy rock will do the job. Try to find a large rock that is heavy enough but that you can easily hold. Then, hit the fish with the big end of the rock, right above its eyes.
Some anglers also use a small wooden bat called a priest that kills fish by hitting them in the head. The objects are made of a special kind of wooden bat that can be used to hit fish with the same force that a large rock can. It works just as well but is easier to hold and ploy.
3. Sever the Spinal Cord
The two methods that we’ve covered for killing fish are pretty straightforward. But you won’t hurt the fish much by killing it with a knife. You can use this method most often to kill small to medium fish; you should always make sure that you have a good knife in handy. It’s particularly good for very thin fish like small ornamental carp since the other methods may be difficult or impossible with fish in this shape.
This method is pretty direct – you just need to put a sharp knife to the tip of the fish and cut it down. You simply lay your fish on its side on a flat, hard surface and then use the back of a knife to cut through the spinal cord around its eyes and through its head to get to the hard surface below. It can get messy, but it’s extremely quick and effective.
With the quick-to-death method, you can aim poorly and miss the sweet spot, which will result in a second try. Therefore, using a good sharp knife to quickly and efficiently kill the fish is more precise and not easy to go wrong. If you try any of these techniques, you’ll get the results you want while also causing the fish as little pain as possible.
Can I eat Carp that has invaded into ponds?
Asian carp species have firm, white, mild flesh that may serve as a perfect table fare. However, people find the Asian Carp undesirable due to its intramuscular bones in carp filets.
Does Carp frighten other fish species?
Spanning Carp will not cause any problems for nearby bass. But, again, this draws us back to the matter of fish populations becoming too large. Too many carp species in a particular water body can negatively affect all the present fish species in that water area.
What are the impacts of Carp in lakes?
Carp is dangerous to the environment. It might kill mussels and destroy home grounds for other fish species.
Since carp are often found in large numbers, they can hurt the native fish populations in certain areas. That is why you should kill carps if they jump onto your boat while you’re out there on the waters fishing. In other words, you’ll be doing a public service by killing carps.
Raymond Smith is a fishing enthusiast who has been obsessed with fishing and boating since childhood. He used to accompany his father to every weekend fishing escapade along the banks of the Madison River, where they would try to catch as much fish as possible, each time targeting different species to add to their belts. Smith loves angling, travel, and exploration and has amassed more than ten years of experience in trout and steelhead fishing techniques. He shares all his fishing experiences and tips on this website and other online outdoors magazines.