View Full Version : Boat&JetSki-hating Kamakaze fish

12-01-2005, 04:39 PM
While running a search for the Nichols site, I found this:

http://www.jetski.com/article.cfm?id=466 (link)
Leaping fish injuring Illinois River Jet Ski'iers
Marcy Poplett jumped at the chance to take her personal watercraft for a short run on the Illinois River on a sunny afternoon in October.

It turned out to be a near-death experience. After driving a few miles, she idled the craft near a bridge and looked at the fall colors. "Every leaf was just gorgeous," she said. "So I'm sitting there and all of a sudden this big fish flops out of the river literally and hits me right between the eyes," Poplett said. "I'm not kidding. It knocked me completely out."
Poplett was whacked by a silver carp, an import from Asia that moved into the Peoria area about five years ago. The carp have a tendency to shoot out of the water when disturbed by passing motorboats. Weighing 10 pounds or more, they pack quite a wallop.

Poplett quickly revived, but found herself floating face down in the river, bleeding profusely. She saw her watercraft floating away in the current, heading toward a towboat that was blasting its horns. She passed out again, but a nearby boater, alerted by the warning blasts, came to her rescue. Poplett suffered a broken nose, concussion, black eye, injured back and a broken foot. She has recovered from her injuries and expects to be back on the river this summer — but never again without a companion.

Other boaters along the Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi rivers have reported dislocated jaws, facial cuts, broken ribs and serious bruises. Hundreds have been startled as the thin-skinned carp shot into their boats and flew to pieces as they hit seats, coolers, fishing equipment and depth finders.

"They shatter when they hit something hard," said Duane Chapman, a fisheries biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey in Columbia, Mo. "They just get blood everywhere and they're slimy. If you have a pretty boat, it's going to be a mess."

Chapman, who is 6-feet-6, said one carp jumped high enough last fall on the Missouri River to hit him on the cheek while he was standing in a nearly idle boat. He said it was like "being hit by a bowling ball." He wasn't seriously injured.

Vivian Nichols of Hartsburg, Mo., is another fish-in-the-face victim. Last summer, she and her husband took a friend in their boat to see the jumping carp on the Missouri. As she idled the motor, fish started flying on both sides of the boat and it began to seem dangerous. As Nichols took her eyes off the fish to steer the boat away from them, a carp whacked her on the nose and broke it.

"The riverways aren't safe out there," she said. Nichols and her husband, an occasional commercial fisherman, have outfitted their 20-foot jon boat with protective nets to lessen their chances of injury.

Some people are staying off the water. Steve Kelly, owner of American Sport, a Havana, Ill., shop that sells hunting and fishing equipment, said that most of his customers are unhappy about the fish. "A lot of the women won't go on the river anymore," Kelly said.

The silver carp and its non-leaping cousin, the bighead carp, can grow to more than 50 pounds. They have exploded in portions of the Mississippi and its tributaries since they escaped from Southern fish farms in the 1980s.

Composed: 06/22/2004 | Modified: 06/22/2004

12-01-2005, 04:47 PM
thats just crazy, i would be so pissed off at that fish if it happend to me.

12-01-2005, 04:57 PM
It reminds me of the fish at Betsy's place.

88 PS190
12-01-2005, 05:21 PM
Imagine what one of those would do to your knee if it leaped at you while skiing... ouch.

12-01-2005, 05:29 PM
Man that would suck! They would have to be swimming pretty fast to end up breaking a nose.

12-01-2005, 05:36 PM
what if you took one to the boys while on a footin run!

Keep those things away from the Potomac! - We are bad enough with the snake-heads!:eek:

88 PS190
12-01-2005, 05:50 PM
what about a cup?? yich.

12-01-2005, 05:51 PM
or worse hit a dead floating fish on a footin run.

12-01-2005, 10:48 PM
this is my dad up north way back when, he hit this thing sloloming. (Thats an ore thats bent)

Farmer Ted
12-01-2005, 10:51 PM
this is my dad up north way back when, he hit this thing sloloming. (Thats an ore thats bent)

is that a Northern or a Muskie?

12-01-2005, 10:58 PM
northern i think.

12-02-2005, 06:55 AM
Was it already dead, or did he kill it? That's one big fish!

12-02-2005, 07:03 AM
That is craziness. :mad:

T Scott
12-02-2005, 08:12 AM
or worse hit a dead floating fish on a footin run.

That actually happened to me ! When I was in high school, I used to ski in a salt water bay. Red tide was active which kills off the fish. I actually barefooted over a dead catfish. You guessed it, the sharp fin on it tore my foot wide open. 12 stitches later and a few months off the water and I was fine. Damn fish!!

12-02-2005, 08:20 AM
Saw this on America’s Funniest Home Videos not too long ago. It was hard to accept as true, but seeing it was unbelievable. The amount of fish jumping was like one every couple of seconds, and those suckers were big. It was all fun and games until the driver of the boat got hit in the face. Wiped his smile off real quick.

12-02-2005, 02:31 PM
this is my dad up north way back when, he hit this thing sloloming. (Thats an ore thats bent)

Uh oh! tpttool is back.

River Rat
12-02-2005, 07:15 PM
A couple years ago my buddy was pulling a girl on a toob ( in a Bu) and a mullet jumped up and smacked her in the eye. :eek3: She was probably traveling 30 mph or so when it happened. She went to the Hospital but no major damage was done, most of her face was black and blue for a week. We still have a hard time NOT calling her mullet when we see her! (she has no sense of humor about it) :o

12-02-2005, 07:29 PM
Seems like another example of why it's not such a good ideal to import things that aren't already here. Kind of like those pesky Japanese beetles that plague us each year. In the fall our house is covered with them...several always making it into everyones houses.

12-02-2005, 07:37 PM
RiverRat, are the Mullets in your river imported??? :D

12-02-2005, 07:41 PM
I think it was his buddy's mullet that smacked her in the eye if he was "toobing" :D

12-02-2005, 08:39 PM
that is a great pic...going to be my screen saver for a while!...and Ryan I wouldnt be surprised by anything that jumped out of the IL River....the slalom pic looks like everyone is is having fun.

12-02-2005, 09:09 PM
used to work for fla dept of nat res and am familir with both the grass and silver carp.
both fish are powerful animals and serve a particular purpose and fill an ecological niche. while both are exotic (non-native) organisms, they are brought in to contol or manage non-native problems (exotic weeds). that having been said, i remember harvesting grass carp in the state hatcheries for distribution to weed infested lakes (hydrilla) and having to be on the alert for these 10-lb bad boys clearing the net and trying to spread my nose from ear to ear. bottom line is that they, as are the silver carp, a management tool to control a problem that usually is caused by us (human introduction of problem organisms). my only comment is this -- these critters serve a useful purpose and were introduced (usually) to manage a problem. personally, i have more fear of the highways than being accosted by a silver or grass carp, or a gator for that matter.

Upper Michigan Prostar190
12-02-2005, 09:55 PM
Man, that is insane!! I cant image being hit by a 10 lb fish!! :eek: That MUST hurt like a B*%CH !!!!! That really is dangerous. I mean what if it hit a boat driver and he passed out and laid on the throttle?? scary....

lots of scary scenarios I can think of with those jumping carp. Thats very interesting stuff.

WOW........ That is so obtuse..... hard to really imagine. I would love to see a video of those fish jumping. :popcorn:


12-03-2005, 12:27 AM
Silver carp have been moving up the Mississippi river, and the DNR is trying to control the problem by installing an underwater electric fence at the Minnesota border. They may have a purpose in some areas, but they are reproducing exponentially and have become a real problem for boaters on the river.