Luciano: Bring battle against Asian carp to Peoria

July 31, 2012 at 10:12 AM

PEORIA — Eat to win: We’ve talked a lot here about Asian carp, hoping to eradicate the leaping slimebags. In fact, Tuesday - sorry, but it’s hush-hush right now - a cable-TV crew will be in town regarding local efforts to fight the fish.

Meantime, I got a call from Chris McCloud, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, who was a bit irked about a quote from another paper that I used. In mid-July, the DNR was giving away carp sliders (like crab cakes, I guess) at Taste of Chicago - to generate interest in the fish as food.

I tried to contact McCloud, but got no call back. So in this space I pointed out that the Chicago Sun-Times had quoted him as calling Asian carp tasty and just “slightly bony” - a description I deemed as true as calling politics “slightly phony.”

Bones are the biggest challenge in making these beasties tasty. McCloud, who called me after my column ran, said he knows that: “Slightly bony. That doesn’t sound like something I’d say.”

Gee, a reporter getting a quote wrong? That’s as unlikely as a spokesman backpeddling.

Doesn’t matter. McCloud was a good sport about all this. And he had some good news: The state might bring its Carpapalooza to Peoria. Actually, it’s not called Carpapalooza, but it sounds weirdly fun. My other suggestion is “Carpe Eat ‘em” (get it?), but I’m getting off-track.

McCloud says the DNR enjoyed the event in Chicago, and it wants to bring the campaign downstate. He mentioned Springfield, which is politician-lousy and fun-challenged - not to mention carp-free. That’s why I groaned at the idea.

I suggested a stop in Peoria, Ground Zero of the Asian carp explosion. I told McCloud that Peoria anglers would love to see any effort here to battle the critters, especially if it means free grub. McCloud sounded excited about a P-town stop.

Stay tuned.