One state's natural resources department is trying to change the public's perception of an invasive species in the hopes people will begin to eat it.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has launched a campaign to rebrand the Asian Carp, an invasive species of fish.

The new name for the fish is "Copi", and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is bringing in big guns to try to change the fish's image.

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According to a story from KLFY TV10, the Asian Carp was introduced into the United States over 50 years ago as an alternative way to cut down on vegetation in waterways.

Instead of using chemicals, the fish would be a more ecologically-friendly way to get rid of the grasses and weeds.

Photo by Ivan Bandura on Unsplash
Photo by Ivan Bandura on Unsplash
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The Asian Carp, or Copi as it is now known, was put into wastewater treatment plants and other enclosed areas to get their eat on.

The fish was doing its job well when, at some point, some of the fish found their way out of the enclosed areas into streams and rivers.

At that point, they began to reproduce and migrate.

Now, the species is threatening the Great Lakes, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is trying to stimy the arrival of the species.

Photo by Adam Bouse on Unsplash
Photo by Adam Bouse on Unsplash
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As you know, Carp is not considered to be a delicacy around here or, as you can imagine, the rest of the United States.

But, according to the story from KLFY TV10, Copi Carp are a different breed. Literally.

Most Carp are considered to be bottom-feeders which, as you know, can make them taste like mud. Copi is different: this Carp is a top-feeder.

Copi Carp is being described as "more savory than Tilapia".

Townsquare Media photo
Townsquare Media photo
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Who is describing Copi Carp in this manner? Well, none other than the winner of the 2022 winner of "Chopped", Chef Brian Jupiter (here's his IMDB link).

Jupiter, who is from Chicago, is working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on the rebranding.

“Copi is more savory than tilapia, cleaner tasting than catfish, and firmer than cod,” Jupiter said in a release. “It’s the perfect canvas for creativity — pan fried, steamed, broiled, baked, roasted or grilled.” - Chef Brian Jupiter, via KLFY

The story also says that Copi Carp is healthy, coming in second in both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, beat out by only wild salmon.

Will this Carp catch on in the United States? Only time will tell, but at this moment, it is the most-eaten freshwater fish in the world.

It looks like we have some catching up to do.

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