Skarping: The Midwest’s Most Ridiculous Water Sport

Combining cross-disciplinary skills from a diverse array of sports water skiing, basketball and butterfly catching skarping doesn’t just look like a lot of fun, it helps the environment too. The Asian carp is an invasive species injuring boatmen across the midwest.


Asian carp were originally imported to America from China by fish farmers in the 1970s, who hoped the species would help keep their fish ponds clean. Escapes into Mississippi River basin trickled out over the subsequent decades, but it was the heavy flooding of the river in the 1990s that is largely credited for the spread of the species.

They expanded rapidly and are now rampant in the river and its tributaries as far north as Illinois, where this video was filmed. Massive efforts are underway to keep the carp out of the great lakes  they threaten native species  but the fish defy most efforts at control. They feed by filtering plankton from the water as they swim, so can’t be caught on rod and reel.

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