Louisiana lawmaker proposes Asian Carp bounty program

A Bighead Asian Carp, taken November 1, 2013.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins wants Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to create a bounty program for Asian carp, an invasive fish species.

The Republican congressman sent a letter to department Secretary Jack Montoucet, saying a program to encourage fishermen to harvest the species would lessen ecological and economic damage in Louisiana.

Montoucet says he'd like to talk with Higgins about ongoing work to combat the species and hopes the congressman will lead efforts to secure federal dollars for the "expensive fight."

Asian carp, introduced to the United States decades ago, have exploded in population across multiple states, but there's little commercial demand for them.

Higgins wants a bounty program similar to an ongoing effort aimed at controlling Louisiana's nutria population. Montoucet's office says that program is federally financed.

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