APES students learn about Asian Carp

APES students learn about Asian Carp

A recent presentation for AP Environmental Science students had them looking at one local invasive species, the Asian carp.

Nick Fremgen, Staff Reporter

On Thursday, April 5th, AP Environmental Science students saw a presentation about the increasing problem of Asian carp.

Asian carp are an environmental problem that is slowly getting worse. They are an invasive species that is spreading through multiple states, disrupting ecosystems and killing off native life. They are filter feeders and eat a lot of food. This means that the Asian Carp are eating most of the food at the bottom of the food chain and hurting everything above it. They can get very big, even up to about 100 pounds. People are trying many ways to control their spread and population, but the only good way so far is electronic barriers. At the same time, people are fishing them as they are both edible and flavorful.

The presentation came as part of APES study about globalization and invasive species.  APES teacher Jame Holt said, “I wanted to give the students a firsthand opportunity to learn about the subject.  Since this is becoming a national problem, it is quite possible that it will be on the AP exam.”

The presentation, given by the head of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, lasted from 9:30 to 10:45.  The presentation was free of charge.  The speaker presents for free because he wants to be able to educate more people on the subject.

APES student Kylie O’ Connell said, “It was very interesting.  I learned a lot from it.”

Later on in the presentation, students went outside to look at the boats and equipment the IDNR uses to catch Asian Carp. Eco Club member Alex Cleveland said,“We were able to get a close up look at the equipment they use and it was really cool.”

Cleveland added that the presentation showed her how the Asian Carp would affect the environment, and O’Connell said that it did cause her to worry.