The cowboys’ ultimate goal is to prevent the carp from invading Lake Michigan and wreaking havoc on the Great Lakes fishing industry by stealing food from other, smaller fish that people actually like to eat. There are also fears they could clog humans’ fishing nets and ruin industrial machinery. (Think of them as the squirrels of the inland sea.) So far the project has been successful: Per ABC 7, the cowboys diminished the Illinois River Asian carp population by 96% and they’re on a pace to catch 2 million pounds by the end of the year. Seems like it’s not their first carp rodeo.


The fish have been shipped off to be turned into fertilizer and pet food, though the Illinois Department Of Natural Resources is hopeful that with some “rebranding” the fish may be sold for human consumption. Yee-haw!