Katherine Touzinsky, a graduate student at Purdue University and 2014 Knauss Fellowship finalist, set out to prove to skeptics that Asian carp really does taste great. The taste test was held in conjunction with the Houston Bowfishing Classic tournament along the Wabash River outside Lafayette, Indiana.
Katherine and Angie Archer, fellowship specialist with IISG, served up tasty fried fish strips which Katherine calls “silvertips”, a wordplay combination of silver carp and wing tips. Many of the bowfishermen have caught Asian carp but had never tried this mild white fish. After watching friends enjoy the crispy fish, they were encouraged to grab a piece. The reactions ranged from “so-so” to “delicious,” with a few coming back for seconds (and even thirds).
The Houston Bowfishing Classic shoots are in their eighth year and are quickly gaining in popularity and notoriety among Midwestern bowfisherman. Katherine’s project, entitled “Winning Back the Wabash—Clean ‘em Out and Cook ‘em Up,” was funded by a Purdue Sustainability Office grant. The goal of the grant project is to help foster environmental stewardship and invasive species control through outreach and active engagement of community members. To help with control, the tournament offered an award to the most silver and bighead carp caught by a team, and another award for the biggest fish (by weight). The 14 teams hauled in 171 Asian carp, with the biggest silver carp weighing in at 11.3 pounds and a bighead carp that weighed 14.5 pounds.
The Dean John A. Knauss Fellowship, awarded annually through National Sea Grant, provides post-graduates the opportunity to work with legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. for one year. Students who have an interest in oceanic and Great Lakes research or marine policies affecting our natural resources are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit the fellowship page on our website.