A Missouri angler searching for catfish in the Osage river reeled in a massive fish he’d never heard of instead.
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Jesse Hughes, of Bonnots Mill, Osage County, was fishing for catfish with friends when he caught something big.
“We hooked into it and knew it was something big, but I originally thought it was a catfish,” Hughes said. “It was the first I’d heard of a black carp. I didn’t know anything about it, so this has been quite the learning experience.”
Hughes’ black carp weighed in at a staggering 112 pounds.
The Missouri Department of Conservation lists black carp as a prohibited species, as the fish are not native to the state and pose a danger to the local population of mollusks, including some critically endangered species.
The department asks anyone who catches a black carp in the state’s rivers to alert authorities. The fish have been found in Missouri before, and in 1994, about 30 black carp entered the Osage River after escaping from a fish farm during a high-water event.
“If anglers happen to catch black carp, or any invasive fish, while fishing in Missouri waters, it’s imperative to contact their local conservation agent,” MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson said.
“That way, our fisheries staff can be notified and monitor the spread of these destructive species.”