Fishing carp at the Red Neck Fishing Tournament in Bath, Illinois
North America is under attack by a relentless aquatic invader. Accidentally released into the Mississippi River 30 years ago, the Asian Carp have been heading north ever since.
Famous for their insatiable hunger and their Olympic high jumping, Asian Carp are now only 100 kilometers south of Lake Michigan.
Carpe Diem: A Fishy Tale will take viewers on an enlightening odyssey to reveal the many fronts on which this new enemy is being fought, using every means at their disposal: cross bows, electrodes and even water guns. Despite their fascination with this newcomer, scientists on both sides of the Canada/US border agree that the Asian Carp is a threat we need to take seriously. But can they stop the fish before they get into the Great Lakes?
Presently, the only thing stopping the fish from migrating northward is an electric barrier just outside of Chicago. Or is it? The Army Corps of Engineers seem to think so, but environmental DNA of has been found on the wrong side of the barrier, despite their best efforts and resources. This summer, two Asian carp were found in Ontario's Grand River.
Why exactly are these fish considered a threat to Canadian waterways? As we'll discover, the Asian Carp is extraordinarily adaptable: aside from being a very good swimmer and avoiding nets, it out-eats other species and tilts the food chain in its favour, making it difficult for native species to survive.
Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans is on Full Carp Alert. But their enemy is a sly and wily invader with Canadian waters in its sights. Down south, where the battle has been lost, people are starting to see the fish as a resource and are starting to eat it. Is this the answer to this fishy problem?
Carpe Diem: A Fishy Tale is an eye-opening take on the complicated fight against an impressive species of fish which is really just doing what it does best - surviving. But the Asian Carp could change the Great Lakes as we know them. As US aquatic biologist Duane Chapman says "I have kind of a love-hate relationship with these fish. I respect the heck out of them. They are amazing fish. But I just wish they weren't here."
graphics & animation
post production supervisor
on line editor
in house producer
Roberta J. Pazdro
special thanks to:
Alliance for the Great Lakes: Joel Brammeier; Army Corp of Engineers: Lynne E . Whelan, Lt. Colonel Schreiner; Beaver Fisheries; Canal Barge: Del Wilkins & the Windy City crew; DFO Canada: Becky Cudmore, David Marson, Hilary Price, Rosaleen O’Mahony; Fu Yao Supermarket; Illinois River Biological Station: Nerissa Michaels; Ministry of Natural Resources: Matthew Orok, Randy Tippin, Rick Andrews; Peoria Carp Hunters: Nathan Wallick & Ben Wallick; The Red Neck Fishing Tournament: Betty DeFord; Schafer Foods: Mike Schafer, Steven McNitt; South Side Mission: Philip Ward Newton, Meg Newell and Chris Franzoni; USGS Columbia: Duane C. Chapman, Edward E. Little, Robin D. Calfee, Holly Puglis, Elizabeth Brothers, Erinn Beahan, Joe Deters, Katy Klymus; USGS La Crosse: Mark Gaikowski, Jon Amberg.
stills & artwork courtesy of
Library of Congress
film and video footage courtesy of:
Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Peoria Carp Hunters
NBC Universal Archives
Norfolk County Tourism & Rainey Media
United States Geological Survey
Visit our website to watch the series online, discover extra behind-the-scenes stories and view Canada's nature scenes in 360. Visit Wild Canadian Year