Questions of the tale of fish tails: Mystery on the Des Plaines River

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I think Joe Maples was first to wonder on Aug. 22 in the Facebook group, “Bassin The Burbs (Chicago Area),’’ what the chopped fish tails were he found. The issue took off in other Facebook groups.

By Monday, Illinois fisheries chief Dan Stephenson reported that a crew monitoring Asian carp found carcasses of shovelnose sturgeon where Lemont Road crosses the Des Plaines River. Law enforcement was also called in.

“Appears maybe someone caught them elsewhere, then cleaned them and tossed the remains in the river,’’ Stephenson emailed.

He also emailed that they hope to run analysis on the otoliths (part of the inner ear) at Southern Illinois to determine origins.

“There is no record of shovelnose sturgeon in the Des Plaines, so we don’t even know where they came from,’’ he emailed.


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