Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Asian Carp Would have Little Effect on Lake Erie

According to a new study published in the journal Conservation Biology by a group of scientists from the University of Notre Dame, Resources for the Future, U.S. Forest Service, the University of Michigan and the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Laboratory, a settlement of Asian Carp in Lake Erie would have little to no noticeable effect on local fish biomass.

According to the study, while only three bighead carp have been found in Lake Erie since 1995, it’s important to understand what the effects could be if they were to establish in the lake.

The study used expert elicitation, which is the combination of opinions from experts on a topic when there is uncertainty due to insufficient data — essentially, a scientific consensus.

Eleven experts were a part of the expert elicitation used to estimate what would be the outcome if carp established in Lake Erie. The experts determined that bighead and sivler carp biomass could range from close to zero but up to 25 metric tons. They estimated that yellow perch would not decrease from the presence of carp, but Walleye might experience a decrease in numbers.

For more information, visit environmentalchange.nd.edu.

Photo courtesy of Kate Gardiner

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