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The WORST Fish In America: VICE News Takes On Asian Carp

By JoshMogerman in News on Oct 12, 2014 4:10PM

With hard-hitting smart assery, VICE is producing some of the ballsiest and most interesting newsgathering around right now. They are popping up in some of the most frightening places on the planet like Liberia in the midst of the Ebola outbreak, the front lines in the Ukraine ... and the Illinois River?

OK, maybe its not all heavy stuff, but we can’t get enough Asian carp stuff here at Chicagoist and VICE News reporter Thomas Morton’s cruise up the waterway to investigate the invasive species infestation of the Illinois is spectacular stuff.

Starting on a johnboat covered in “what seems like fish semen” amidst the Redneck Fishing Tournament in Bath, Illinois—an event Morton describes as an opportunity for “river rats and drunken yahoos to let off steam” by killing off thousands of invasive fish—and ending at Canal Origins Park in our fair city, the 18-minute mini-doc lays out the issues in raucous fashion. Along the way, VICE demonstrates a robust Asian carp vernacular describing the fish as “ichthyan kudzu” and “leaping, slimy bastard fish” before rightly noting that the root of the threat to the Great Lakes came “100-years ago when Chicago decided to make the Mississippi River its toilet.”

It's worth your time to hit play below for the entertainment value of watching a skinny hipster reporter awkwardly trying his hand at commercial fishing, carp stabbing and wrangling a critter roughly his own size; not to mention his important clarion call for action here in Chicago “before we are all rolling around in fish guts like the bozos downstream.”