For those who fish with live bait, what you do at the end of your fishing trip could have a big impact on the waterways of Indiana.

What Are Invasive Carp and Why Are They In Indiana Waterways?

Anyone who has spent anytime with a pole in the water is likely familiar with the invasive carp issue in Indiana and beyond. The term "invasive carp" is used to describe several species, according to Indiana Department of Natural Resources, including silver carp, grass carp, black carp, and bighead carp. Like many invasive species, invasive carp were introduced to the United States from other parts of the world.

Invasive carp were originally imported to the southern United States to help aquaculture and wastewater treatment facilities keep retention ponds clean. Flooding and accidental releases allowed these fish to escape into the Mississippi River system. Invasive carp have since migrated into the Ohio, White, and Wabash rivers where they are now common.
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Why are Invasive Carp Bad for the Ecosystem in Indiana?

Invasive carp pose a significant threat to Indiana's waterways. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources point out that native species find themselves in competition with invasive carp for necessary resources.

attachment-Indiana Invasive Carp Bait Bucket

What To Do If You Catch an Invasive Carp

It is against the law in Indiana to posses an invasive carp. If you catch one, do not release it back into the water. You can eat it, or your other options are to toss it in the trash or use it for cut bait.

READ MORE: 2024 Free Fishing Days in Indiana

Don't Dump Your Live Bait Buckets

Young invasive carp look a whole lot like other bait fish. This means there could be some swimming around in your bait bucket. It's for this reason that Indiana DNR says you should never dump your remaining live bait into lakes or rivers. Instead, your unused bait should be placed in the trash.

Other Ways You Can Help Indiana Fight Against Invasive Carp

Do not release fish you have caught from one lake or river into any other body of water. Additionally, Indiana DNR says to drain your live wells because the water could have invasive carp eggs floating in it. If you encounter and "aquatic invasive species," you can contact the Indiana DNR via email at Be sure to include a photo of the species you have encountered, as well as the location of where you found it.

[Source: Indiana DNR]

25 Public Fishing Spots In The Evansville Area

Looking for a place to fish in the Evansville area? Here's a list of 25 of the best places you can toss a line out!

Gallery Credit: Travis Sams