The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced that a wholesale fish dealer in Platteville is facing state charges for illegally selling species of highly invasive, destructive Asian carp. According to a DNR press release these particular types of carp are distinct from the German carp which have existed in the Badger State since the mid-1850’s.
“The charges against the operator of Li Fish Farm, LLC, a Grant County-based fish company, is the first case involving illegal sales of Asian carp,” the DNR states. “A complaint from a member of the public sparked an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.” The species of carp that were for sale include the bighead, silver, and grass carp, all of which are illegal to have in Wisconsin. The fish dealer is facing several charges related to their sale.
A DNR conservation warden investigation led to the charges being filed. The investigation primarily focused on activities during 2018 and 2019, though the illegal fish sales went on for several years before that time.
“These types of carp are highly invasive species that out-compete Wisconsin native fish species and can destroy their habitats,” said Lt. Robert Stroess, DNR warden administrator for commercial fishing, wholesale fish dealing and charter fishing enforcement. “The species is top on the Least Wanted Aquatic Invasive Species List from the Great Lakes –-St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers.”
In Wisconsin, invasive carp must be either gutted or have their gill coverings removed upon discovery. “This requirement exists because these carp species have been known to survive out of water for up to a day or longer,” according to a DNR statement. “Gutting them or severing the gill plate ensures the fish cannot be revived or survive if released into waters.”