Wild Carp: An Excellent Source of Food

Ferris Weddle explains how catching wild carp is an excellent source of food for homesteaders. The article includes recipes to make the most of your carp catch.

  • Wild carp
    Suckers are marketed in large amounts for use as human food. Millions of carp and other "trash fish" are eradicated from western waters each year to be replaced by game species.

  • Wild carp

Special Carp Catchin', Cleanin' and Eatin' Section 

Sometimes I get the impression that guests at my table may be just a bit wary . . . when they're not downright worried about what they're eating. This is true, anyway, of those who've read my articles extolling the gourmet delights of many foods that are unused — or underused — because of prejudice.

These little cutlets, now, could they be rattlesnake? Truthfully, no. I've heard such fare praised, but frankly I haven't gotten up enough nerve to give it a try. If I were starving . . . well, maybe I would.

Then there's always some suspicion about wild plants, berries, and whatnot. Can I be certain they're non-poisonous? Yes, I can, or I wouldn't try them myself . . . especially the mushrooms that I eat only when I have absolutely no doubts about their safety.

The fish on the table — fresh, pickled, canned, in loaves, or whatever — may be a different matter, however. That is, it may not be trout, bass, salmon, or any of the so-called "game species. Instead, it could very well be some of the numerous varieties we tend to label as "trash" or "rough" fish . . . you know, carp, suckers, chiselmouths, squawfish, bullhead catfish and others in the non-game category.

Even though my guests may eat these fish with pleasure and praise, many will nevertheless appear somewhat shaken when they're informed of the exact species they've consumed. The old business of, "Ughhh . . . trash fish!"

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