An invasive species of fish, known for sometimes jumping out of the water and injuring boaters, is being eradicated from a lake along the Nebraska-South Dakota border. Lake Yankton was intentionally poisoned this week to wipe out Asian carp.
Jeff Schuckman, manager of the Northeast Regional Fisheries for state Game & Parks, says the poison is acting quickly to kill the undesirables.
“There was probably more Asian carp that I thought there was even,” Schuckman says. “When they first started coming up, they were absolutely thick. A lot of them have sunk and they’ll start to float in the next day or two. There was a lot of them along the shoreline. Like we thought, there’s probably 98% of them are Asian carp, a lot of buffalo and common carp.”
Schuckman says they’ll be ready to start repopulating the lake soon.
“These fish will decompose,” he says. “It’s going to take a week or so for this chemical to detoxify. As soon as it detoxifies, we’ve got fish from the Valentine State Fish Hatchery, bass and bluegill, read to go in. It’s going to be restocked probably by October 1st.”
Schuckman says by next fall, there should be some good-sized fish in the lake.
“A year from now, we’ll have 5 to 6-inch bluegill and they’ll be spawing and we’ll have 9 to 10-inch largemouth bass, and we’re off and running,” he says. “Next spring, we’ll put in some more largemouth bass and we’ll get some black crappie fingerlings, some channel catfish and some walleye. It won’t be a couple of years and we’ll have some good fishing again.”
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department assisted in the project. Yankton Lake was overrun by the carp that got in during the flood of 2011. The lake is just below Gavins Point Dam.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton