Fishing for Answers

The causes and effects of the Asian carp invasion

In an evocative scene, roughly halfway through his first book, Overrun, Andrew Reeves proves how singularly committed he is to exploring the Asian carp invasion of North America. The award-­winning environmental journalist has just hopped aboard a commercial fishing boat on the Illinois River, heading out to net Asian carp, when one of the crew tells him he doesn’t have to get dirty extracting fish if he doesn’t want to. “Sure,” Reeves writes, “I’ll take a pick.” Seven hours later, he’s covered in fish blood, slime, and feces, and stewing in his own sweat after helping to remove roughly 3,200 kilos of carp from the river. Like his journalism, Reeves’s book is an engaged and experiential example of immersive investigative reporting.

Over four years, Reeves conducted interviews with wildlife officials, scientists, environmentalists, and anglers, and visited fish farms, processing plants...