Freshmen from Washington University in St. Louis were rowing on Missouri’s Creve Couer Lake two weeks ago when hundreds of leaping Asian carp halted their crew.
The rowers screamed in fear and tried to shield themselves as the bizarre attack continued for several seconds.
"There was a lot of panic and chaos," team captain Benjamin Rosenbaum, who caught the incident on video, told USA Today. “They're huge fish. They hurt when then hit you in the rib cage."
No one was injured and the fish offensive did not scare away any of the freshman rowers.
“They went from a fish attack to a race the next day in St. Charles, Ill.,” rowing coach Stephen Dever-Harris, who was monitoring his team in a nearby powerboat, told CNN.
Asian carp, which can jump as high as 10 feet, have been in Creve Coeur Lake for at least a decade, Tom Ott, deputy director of St. Louis County Parks, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
They were first spotted in the Mississippi River more than 20 years ago and have made their way into connected bodies of water, including the Missouri River, which feeds the lake. Their move into new water comes during flooding.