Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Carp In the Bathtub Updated: Gefilte Fish DNA Discovered In Lake Michigan

What a week!  First, the giant house-building spider discovered in Israel, and now, giant gefilte fish in Lake Michigan. 

One of our favorite children's books, especially around Passover, was Barbara Cohen's The Carp in the Bathtub.  The story, set in the 1930's or 1940's, revolved around two children who attempted to save a carp destined to become gefilte fish from its inevitable fate.  The book is a classic, and is still available in bookstores.

According to stories in the New York Times and newspapers around the country, DNA of the giant, leaping Asian carp has been found in a river less than a half-mile from Lake Michigan.  Conservationists and fishermen alike worry that the carp -- voracious eaters that grow to 100 pounds and 4 feet long -- could forever change the ecosystems of the Great Lakes if they take hold.

The Times reports:
Experts said the most recent findings, from Calumet Harbor and the Calumet River, could mean that the carp has found its way beyond an elaborate barrier system built at the cost of millions of dollars to prevent the fish’s access to the Great Lakes and its delicate ecosystem, where it has no natural competitors and would threaten the life of native fish populations.
Gefilte fish is made from a combination of carp, whitefish, and pike.  Sometimes only one or two of these species are used, but carp has been the traditional choice in recipes that came over here from Eastern Europe.  We're waiting for a report that giant whitefish and pike have also been sighted or their DNA identified.  Then we'll all have a zeesen Pesach.

The carp are so aggressive that they actually leap at fisherman and have given some of them black and blue marks from the impact when they attack.  If you don't believe this, take a look at this video:

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