National Wildlife Refuge becomes death trap for Carp

Vernal pools holding 100s of fish.

    Mar-e looks out at the carp leaping in the shallow waters. Hundreds of fish trapped.

 Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Concord Unit Trails, is part of a larger refuge centered in Sudbury and the surrounding area. The majority of it's 3,800 acres is made up of valuable freshwater wetlands. Many migratory birds and waterfowl pass through twice every year, north in the spring and south for the winter. Many stop right here to make this their summer homes. The waters teem with life, including the wading birds, bull frogs, turtles, and beaver and muskrat. Unfortunately these waters contain carp. These fish entered the pools during the flood season this year from the Sudbury River and now the waters are dropping and there is no way out for the carp.

There were plenty of local residents enjoying the nice May afternoon.

A spokes person from the refuge headquarters said that this occurs every so many years when the river floods and it is most unfortunate. "We can't get them out till they die, then it's quite a chore and expense." " Carp are considered an invasive species, so capture and release would not be considered." A fence was put in place in an attempt to keep the fish in the river but the fish won out.  As we stood watching the swirling waters, up leaped a fish in the 15-20 pound range. It was sad to watch, but vernal pools are vernal pools and often dry up during the summer months. Wildlife officials are studying ways to prevent this from happening in the future. Let's hope they are successful.

Easy to find.