Skip to main content

A wholesale fish dealer has become the first-ever person in Wisconsin to be prosecuted for the illegal sale of the invasive Asian carp.

The Wisconsin DNR announced this week that Ping Li, the co-owner and sole operator of Li Fish Farm in rural Platteville, western Wisconsin, was found guilty of two misdemeanors and 17 forfeiture violations following a plea deal, and has been fined more than $13,000.

The DNR says that Li's illegal fish activities had been going on for several years before a complaint from a resident sparked an investigation in 2018.

Officials found that in 2018 alone, Li sold and transported more than 9,000 pounds of completely intact invasive carp, which includes bighead, silver, and grass carp.

These species of carp differ from the Germany/common carp that has lived in Wisconsin since the mid-1800s, with the Wisconsin DNR saying they are highly invasive and can destroy native fish habitats.

Bighead carp feeds on plankton, the primary food for walleye, yellow perch, and lake whitefish, while silver and grass carp feed on aquatic habitats, with the former known to leap out of the water ("a threat to boaters") and the latter helping to cause algae blooms.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Under Wisconsin state law, invasive carp must either be gutted, or have the entire gill covering severed, which ensures the fish cannot be revived, requirements that exist because the carp can survive out of water for up to a day or longer.

The DNR says Li used an unmarked refrigerated van to transport and deliver most of the illegal carp, "making it difficult to identify it as a wholesale fish dealer vehicle."

His 19 convictions include possession of illegal fish with a value over $300, and improper transport of Asian carp.

Next Up

Train Days

Historic locomotives to roll into St. Paul for Train Days

The festival at the Union Depot returns June 4-5.

Dalton tornado

Tornadoes, large hail, damaging wind possible in Sunday/Monday storms

The Twin Cities is among the areas that could get hit.

Redtail Ridge Elementary

Sunbather on the roof triggers shelter-in-place at Savage elementary school

The sunbather told police he was trying to "tan and relax."

Nero

The Raptor Center's ambassador, Nero the turkey vulture, dies at 47

Nero helped save the California condors before taking up his post as an education ambassador.

Ben Leber

Ben Leber named new permanent co-host of 'Twin Cities Live'

The former Minnesota Vikings linebacker was introduced Friday afternoon.

MPR

APM Reports, maker of 'In the Dark' podcast, nixed by Minnesota Public Radio

MPR said "select programming elements" of APM Reports will be incorporated into MPR News.

storm, severe

The latest on holiday weekend severe weather chances for MN

The most significant severe threats are Sunday night and again on Monday.

Arianna Vos

Charges: Driver was drunk, high in head-on crash that killed 19-year-old woman

The young woman killed in the crash was a college student studying zoology.

Related

Oh, carp! Invasive fish keep moving north; they're on the St. Croix now

The Minnesota DNR confirms that both silver and bighead carp were found on the St. Croix last week.

Commercial fisherman catches 30-pound bighead carp in St. Croix River

According to the DNR, the fish was caught Thursday near Prescott, Wisconsin. The Pioneer Press reports it's among a dozen invasive Asian carp caught along the Minnesota/Wisconsin border since 1996.

pontoon

1 killed, 2 injured in Wisconsin pontoon explosion

Three men were in the process of installing a pier when the explosion happened.

Screen Shot 2022-03-19 at 8.59.22 AM

Investigators solve mystery of baby's 2009 death

The baby's mother has been charged with concealing a death.

Boater drowns while fishing on western Wisconsin lake

The incident was reported on Friday afternoon.

Viburnum beetle

Invasive beetle found in Minnesota for the first time

The beetle weakens and eventually kills viburnum plants.

Bill in Washington would close St. Anthony Falls lock if Asian carp are found

The Army Corps of Engineers wants authority to close the lock and dam at Minneapolis' St. Anthony Falls at a moment's notice if invasive carp are found nearby. Supporters of the idea include the Minnesota DNR and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who say stopping the migration of Asian carp up the Mississippi is needed to protect northern Minnesota waters.