Common carp get a 'shocking' experience

(WEAU) - Lake Arbutus is beautiful place to enjoy the great outdoors, but an unfortunate place to find common carp.

"They have a real sharp spine on their back and all their fins so the bigger ones we have to shock,” said Tim Burns Vice President of Hatfield Sportsman Club.

Fisheries Biologist Dan Hatleli of the DNR says they use a mini boom shocker that sends about 480 volts of electricity into the water.

"The electricity that goes into the water causes an involuntary swimming action in the fish and it attracts them towards the boat, said Fisheries Biologist Dan Hatleli of the DNR.

Tim Burns with the Hatfield Sportsman Club says the bottom feeders are a problem.

"Good vegetation can't get started when the carp come along and chew up all the roots," said Burns.

After the carp is shocked the DNR scoops the fish out of the water with a net and checks that the right species is caught.

"The mortality to the other fish is extremely minimal, if we were out here collecting walleyes or pan fish or something like that, we would have to be a lot more careful," said Hatleli.

The DNR says in past years they’ve brought in as much as two tons of carp that gets hauled away to Chippewa Bi Products.

"They take them to a rendering plant, and throw them in with livestock, and rendered down," said Burns.

This helps not only get rid of carp, but train new DNR employees, because the DNR says most electro-fishing is done at night.

"We’ll let them operate it during the day, so they can see the obstacles and get a feel for how the boat handles and that will better prepare them for when they do this type of exercise at night."


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  • by fred on Jun 7, 2012 at 03:18 PM
    Love smoked carp. But there must be away to fillet them. They were brought here for food. If anyone knows how please post. They are a fun,powerful, abundant fish. They taste like salmon canned.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 7, 2012 at 01:52 PM
    was quite noticably down this year. I don't think doing this really effects the population that much..one female carp can invade a lake VERY quickly. I think they were still out a little too deep this year, still getting pretty chilly at night which might be slowing down the spawn
  • by jim Location: eau claire on Jun 7, 2012 at 06:37 AM
    wasting good food
    • reply
      by Jeff on Jun 7, 2012 at 08:05 AM in reply to jim
      That's right Jim, I'm smoking carp right now. They are a fine meal if prepared correctly. Also fun to catch.
    • reply
      by pjll on Jun 7, 2012 at 08:45 AM in reply to jim
      I agree. Why can't they freeze this fish and offer it at the food pantry? Something like that.
    • reply
      by Johnny on Jun 7, 2012 at 01:29 PM in reply to jim
      Pointless waste of DNR resources and as stated, food. First, this is the largest and most powerful fish in the lake. From a sportsman's standpoint - you are stripping all of the power fish out of your facility. Second, this exercise is pointless and medieval. Taking a few fish which aren't spooked by the banging around in your aluminum boat out of any lake, will only result in improved habitat for the remaining fish. Miss two females and your lake will have 1.3 - 1.5 million carps hatched the next spawn. A much more effective way to regulate carp in population is to provide large gamefish. This, of course is unlikely because the sportsman - man - generally overstocks the predators on the lake causing reduced size of the predator fish because more apex predator fish, bass and pike require greater habitat. When there is a proper balance of apex predator fish, the fish of size will hunt, herd and devour a nice carp fry meal each Spring. When in balance, your lake will provide you with more larger carp, an even greater sport fish. Instead, man tries to manage 2 lb. bass to try to make 4 lb. bass. Nature has provided you an ample supply of 8 - 14 lb. torpedoes that will rip your line off your reel. Solution - put down your bass lures and taste test some giant carp on the end of your line. Embrace these mammoth beasties and have a couple carp competitions on your lake with the club members. Learn how to catch them - you will be hooked. Every once in a while, you can switch back and catch some tiny bass too - hey, little fish are fun.
      • reply
        by Randy L on Jun 8, 2012 at 05:05 AM in reply to Johnny
        Johnny, you are so misinformed and inaccurate, I doubt anything I say regarding the Hatfield project will change your mind so I'll just say visit Arbutus, spend a couple days fishing and camping--and catching bass, crappie, perch, sunfish and even northern and muskies, then tell us how much you miss not dragging in a 20 pound carp.Perhaps a big tree hug today will clear your cluttered mind of such inaccurate statements.
  • by Harkner Location: BRF on Jun 7, 2012 at 05:21 AM
    Does anyone have an idea of how successful they were this year? I wish the sportsmans club could purchase their own boat so they could shock more than just one day. Keep up the good work!
    • reply
      by Jim on Jun 7, 2012 at 12:46 PM in reply to Harkner
      They could probably just build one. 18' jon boat, generator, lights, and a step-down transformer to reduce the charge.
      • reply
        by Randy L on Jun 8, 2012 at 05:14 AM in reply to Jim
        It would be great if the club had it's own shocking boat but one would not be cheap to build. The DNR has several and uses the shocking each year to train new employees as well as cut into the carp population. The club uses its fund raising to improve Arbutus. They recently built a beautiful handicapped fishing pier and last year completed a handicapped restroom on the location as well. Personally, I favor the funds going to these types of things rather than buying something they can get from the DNR. Check it out...it's just a mile or two from the Arbutus Sports Bar.
    • reply
      by Randy L on Jun 8, 2012 at 05:09 AM in reply to Harkner
      This year's shocking showed a drop off of the number of carp taken which is great news. There's no way of knowing how many carp still inhabit the lake as weather affects the spawn but it would appear that the shocking and the annual "Carp Fest" held the past 11 years in July, is helping cut into the number.
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