Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Study Finds Grass Carp Spreading in Great Lakes

08-Apr-2017

Despite local efforts to curb a carp invasion in the Great Lakes, a study has found that grass carp have reached three of the five lakes: Erie, Michigan and Ontario. Grass carp is one of four Asian carp species currently threatening to overtake the Great Lakes and disrupt the freshwater ecosystem.

Grass carp were voluntarily introduced into the U.S. in the early 1960s in order to control weed growth in waterways. However, grass carp slipped into the Mississippi River and north to the Great Lakes over the past few decades — similar to other Asian carp species. One of the largest concerns about grass carp, according to Bucky Cudmore, the report’s primary author, is that many found in the wild are fertile. When the carp were introduced in hatcheries in the U.S., they were sterilized to prevent their spread. Although the study found that it’s likely that grass carp will spread through Lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan and Ontario, the researchers believe taking immediate preventative steps could curb the invasion.

Photo by Nick Bloomfield/USFWS

 

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