The latest weapon in the battle against carp: a remote control submarine.
On a sunny and wintry Tuesday this week, Utah state officials and media gathered at frozen Utah Lake just south of Salt Lake City to watch how a remote control submarine can help to catch massive amounts of carp.
The remote control submarine doesn’t pull in the fish. Instead, it’s used to set mile-long nets under the frozen lake surface. The huge net can catch up to eight tons of carp at a time.
Using a remote control submarine to drag a net under frozen ice versus fishing on open water may seem counter intuitive, but it’s actually very effective.
“They (carp) tend to bunch up and get lethargic, and they actually become easier to catch,” Henry Maddux, director of the Utah Recovery Program told the Daily Herald. “It is manpower intensive, but the return is great.”
Crews begin by drilling two 10-by-15-feet wide holes in the ice and drop in a seine net. Then, the remote control submarine comes by and grabs the net and spreads it out to smaller holes, drilled and spread in a semicircle across the lake. Once the net is spread, the carp are trapped and can be pulled out in mass.
Carp were introduced to Lake Utah 100 years ago. Since then, they have overpopulated, destroyed the lake’s vegetation and eaten the majority of the food supply for other fish species. Maddux said he hopes to remove 75 percent of the lake’s carp population.
RELATED: The Federal Government is considering a new measure to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.