Anglers are off the hook and don’t need to worry about Asian carp in local rivers.
Government officials say fish caught in the Thompson River and the Fraser River near Lytton are not an invasive species of Asian carp.
Officials say a variety of carp was identified by some aboriginal fishers as silver carp, an aggressive species currently destroying waterways in eastern North America.
“I think people were pulling these carp out and word got around they were Asian carp,” provincial Environment Minister Terry Lake told the Kamloops News last week. “The tribal councils put out a warning about it and it got misinterpreted as a DFO warning.”
The suspect fish have now been identified as common carp, which are native to Europe and were first introduced to BC waters in the first half of the 20th century.
Janice Billy, St’at’imc Government Services fisheries manager, told the News common carp were identified in the Thompson River, but authorities were still waiting for test results from two carp turned in at the Lillooet DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) office.
Billy told the News the DFO confirmed that common carp has been present and established in lakes, ponds and other slow-moving waters for decades.
“DFO recommends that any carp caught in the Fraser or Thompson River should be killed, and the carcass should be taken to the local DFO office,” Billy said.
She said the same advice applies whenever any other non-indigenous fish is caught.