In Northern California, hundreds of carp totaling more than 10,000 pounds have washed up dead on the shores of Baker Pond. The pond is separate from the much larger Big Bear Lake, and is only accessible through several canals. With California’s drought as strong as ever, Big Bear’s water level has decreased by more than 11 feet – cutting access to the pond and leaving many fish stranded. A single catfish represents the only other species found among the deceased carp. “All the other smart fish boogied back to the lake,” said Mike Stephenson, a General Manger with Big Bear Municipal Water District (MWD).
Although the picture at Big Bear and Baker Pond is quite grim for the Carp, state biologists and the Big Bear Municipal Water District team couldn’t be happier. This is because Carp, native to Europe and Asia, are invasive species in California. Carp have a voracious appetite for aquatic plants and can irreversibly alter the habitat for native fish species, reduce food availability for waterfowl, and increase the occurrence of algae blooms.
“Mother Nature did the MWD a big favor in helping lower the carp population. Losing these carp has been a positive for our lake ecosystem. We spend about $180 an hour to do carp reduction every year”, Stephenson said in an interview with Kathy Portie of Big Bear Grizzly. “That’s to get rid of about 100 pounds an hour. So, financially, this has been a huge benefit to us and to the ecosystem of the lake. Aesthetically, it’s created a bit of a stir.”
 Portie, Big Bear Grizzly, “Carp Casualties Found in Baker Pond.” http://www.bigbeargrizzly.net/news/carp-casualties-found-in-baker-pond/article_34f9a902-098b-11e5-b310-df7ace46da56.html.
 Portie, “Carp Casualties Found in Baker Pond.” http://www.bigbeargrizzly.net/news/carp-casualties-found-in-baker-pond/article_34f9a902-098b-11e5-b310-df7ace46da56.html.