By Shannon Crawley-Serpette
Putnam-Marshall Bureau Chief
HENRY — The city of Henry is looking at cashing in on one of its plentiful resources — Asian carp.
Mayor Doug Wilson said Monday at the Henry City Council meeting that he has been searching for a sustainable industry for Henry that can’t be easily moved or outsourced.
“What caught my eye … is the emerging Asian carp market,” he said. “There’s actually people that eat these.”
Greg Dabbs, a commercial fisherman fromPeoria, said he gets requests from people who want silver and bighead carp. Dabbs said Chef Philippe Parola has been giving cooking demonstrations about how to make carp tasty. Parola has said that in order to effectively market carp, the name should be changed — he has suggested silver fin, according to Dabbs.
“You guys are in the ideal spot for Asian carp,” Dabbs said.
The nearest carp processing facility is in the Quad Cities, Dabbs said. Dabbs said a plant could be erected in Henry to collect and process the carp.
“I think this is the place to do it,” he said.
Asian carp only sells for 10 cents a pound right now. With increased demand, that could rise to more like 35 cents a pound, he said.
Decreasing the carp population makes sense and could be a boon to the area by turning a nuisance into cash,Wilsonsaid.
“It’s getting almost dangerous to water ski,” he said. “There’s that many (carp) out there.”