A new report from scientists at the University of Notre Dame, The Nature Conservancy, and Central Michigan University show that Asian carp probably already exist in the Great Lakes. According to Associated Press, while the species is not yet widespread, the study’s lead author Christopher Jerde said that, “The most plausible explanation is still that there are some carp out there.”

The two-year study collected more than 2,800 water samples from the lakes and connecting waterways. Of those samples, 58 cases of bighead and silver carp DNA were detected, placing the threat directly in the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) and Lake Erie. Previous reports from federal agencies have speculated that DNA traces could have been introduced to the water by birds, boats, or fishing gear. Jerde thinks otherwise. His team’s study systematically rules out each of these possibilities and proposes that a small amount of carp exist in the Great Lakes, although it is too soon for even a preliminary estimate. Jerde contends that this number of carp is still too low to be a reproductive threat.

A carp population that is capable of breeding could spell disaster for the local fishing industry, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports as generating $1 billion annually from commercial fishing and $4 billion from sport fishing. In addition, presence of an Asian carp threat may cause a massive construction effort to seal off parts of the Great Lakes from the CAWS.

It is asserted by the study that the barriers in the CAWS are insufficient to keep out the carp. “It is likely that some Asian carps in the CAWS have dispersed towards Lake Michigan from below the barriers,” reads the report. There are other suspected points of entry however, as Lake Erie is also affected. The Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other federal agencies have stated that they will continue to study the problem and offer solutions in preventing carp entry to the Great Lakes.

Here’s one delicious solution: cooking Asian carp.

You can read the new study here.

Image courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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One thought on “Asian Carp Might Have Invaded the Great Lakes

  1. “INVADED” is an alarmist’s tool that is
    about 25 years or so TOO LATE a warning.
    Migrated or found their way as an intrusive alien through N. American
    waterways is correct. No doubt, YES…they
    pose a real problem to the environmental balances of our lakes, rivers and
    streams. They are also navigation hazards when they become frantically &
    suddenly airborne when alarmed.

    Our
    Fed, State and top University brain trusts and gurus should be feverishly
    working to find a viable interrupter of their life cycle and existence while we
    work physically with concerted efforts to in the. These alterations,
    preparations and chemicals they may use as a problem-reducer also raise uneasy
    feelings. What else could these agents and methods affect. We’re not working on
    land-locked or caged critters. Take some of the thugs from the TSA, tell them
    to dress appropriately and have those manning nets, fish weirs to remove all
    they can while release game fish species immediately to return to their
    habitats. Use the resource wisely for fertilizer, pet food and above all else,
    for human consumption. The flesh of these slimy devils is light-colored and
    tasty.

    A
    great place to start the fight is the IL River and other tributaries along flows
    where they are most prevalent. Netting & trapping operations can also be
    performed at squeeze shoot areas immediately below the Locks & Dams on the
    Mississippi River. Another great, but seemingly untappable source of manning
    are the “welfare encumbered”. Put their butts to work in support of
    the massive effort it will take to control the decedents of the accidental
    releases many years ago. Heaven
    knows there’s no shortage of hands to transport, process, package and deliver
    the tons that can be safely removed daily for an extended period of time.

    Zebra
    mussels haven’t been cured and they are spreading despite ongoing programs and
    requirements placed upon boaters and fishermen to curtail their spread. Much time was expended on brainstorming
    without swift actions. “Now is the best time” in most circumstances, yet we habitually
    dawdle.

    Either we think wisely and act promptly to attack the
    menace while utilizing them as a viable resource now or we’ll only to suffer
    greater consequences in the future. Folks can continue to set on their asses
    fretting, worrying and complaining as these 2 species of fish, as the fish continue
    to propagate by the millions, upon millions. I say MOVE NOW in the most
    aggressive fashion with trammel/hoop & gill nets. There is little value
    in these carp species currently, but allowed to go unchecked day-by-day while
    making sure we waste time with EPA bullshit only serves to worsen the
    conditions and complicate subsequent impacts!

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