Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Great Lakes Fights Back Against Invasive Species


We’ve all seen those videos: Asian Carp leaping out of the water like popping popcorn or like dolphins on steroids. They are a fascinating aquatic invasive species that have been found in Mississippi and Minnesota.

The two most problematic of these species, the bighead and the silver carp, have been known to eat massive amounts of plankton, which in effect can disrupt the food chain and aquatic ecosystem.

But the Great Lakes region is now fighting back against these species and has signed a mutual aid agreement. The agreement will allow for the government in eight states and two Canadian provinces to form a team of experts to help protect the Great Lakes ecosystem and fishing industry from invasive species.

The agreement states, “The Waters of the basin are a shared public treasure, and the States and Provinces as stewards have a shared duty to protect, conserve and manage these waters.”

The agreement is broken into three main goals: Preventing the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species; fostering mutual aid to respond to serious threats to the basin from aquatic invasive species; and encourage further cooperative actions by the parties to combat aquatic invasive species.

The states and provinces involved also are teaming up on a new public service campaign to help promote the message and reduce the spread of other invasive species, including the zebra mussel.

For more information, visit

Photo courtesy Dan O'Keefe, Michigan Sea Grant

South Shore JUN17