Something is muddying the Vancouver Lake waters, causing toxic algae blooms and regular closures. A lake advocacy group is hoping to fix that.
Friends of Vancouver Lake recently hired a small commercial fishing crew to net carp. Fishers have been netting over the past week and plan to return in May, part of what will be a multiyear effort to substantially reduce the population of the invasive species at the lake.
The common carp is known to inhabit shallow bodies of water with moderately flowing or standing water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It’s regarded as a pest fish due to its abundance as well as its tendency to destroy vegetation and stir up sediment, increasing water turbidity.
The fish were introduced to the Pacific Northwest in the late 19th century, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. A sea captain in 1880 in Troutdale, Ore., received a shipment of 35 carp, which spawned to about 7,000 by the end of the year.
In the following year, several thousand of them escaped from the nursery into the Columbia River.