Eating Asian carp as a management strategy for the invasive species isn’t exactly a new idea, but support is growing especially in Peoria and along the Illinois River. 

“The swarms of Asian carp that infest the Illinois River may not want to hear this, but they’re good to eat.

Clint Carter from Carter’s Fish Market in Springfield demonstrated that as he prepared a carp taste test on Tuesday at Dixon Seafood Shoppe, 1807 W. Main St. in East Peoria. 

After demonstrating how to slice a boneless filet off the whole fish, Carter fried up samples in Dixon’s kitchen. “I’m trying to find ways to get people to enjoy this fish,” he said. 

Taking note of Carter’s preparations were Mike White of Whitey’s BBQ in East Peoria and Jeff Westbay of the Bass Pro Shop, both planning to take part in the first annual Flying Fish Festival planned on the Illinois River here July 11-12. 

Along with a bowfishing tournament expected to draw some of the country’s top archers to target the high-flying fish, the festival will also offer Asian carp food samples, said John Hamann, rural economic development director for Peoria County.

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