Michigan is one of the few states with open and active bounty statutes. These laws date back to the 1800’s and were meant to address the same problem we have today; invasive species. The Norway rat, English sparrow and Starlings were such a problem that Michigan placed a small bounty, $.02 – $.50 cents for each carcass. There is a story of kids in Pigeon Michigan shooting sparrows near the grain elevator to prevent spoilage on the grain. They brought the birds into the local post office “by the bushel”, for payment.
Southern Illinois University has issued a report advocating the use of overharvesting the bighead and silver carp as an immediate, revenue-positive complement to other control efforts. Populations of these fishes are growing dense in the lower and middle Illinois River and both species are approaching the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) and the defensive electrical barrier set up there to stop it. The team believes the downriver source populations of the fish will continue to send individuals upstream to challenge the CAWS and ultimately the Great Lakes until their numbers are reduced.
ThumbWind.com advocates placing a $10-20 bounty on each and every Asian Carp caught in Illinois. Rather than spending endless millions on technical silver bullets try good old fashioned overharvesting. Local fisherman and communities would benefit from both the income and as a potential food source. In China, where the big head variety is used to make soup, the fish has been hunted to near eradication. The invasive snakehead is wiping out local bass population in Maryland. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Inland Fisheries (DNR) has offered a $200 gift card to Bass Pro Shops if fishermen manage to hook and kill a snakehead. Florida is in the process of training and offering incentives to hunters and trappers to hunt and kill invasive pythons, which have become a deadly problem.
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