Two very surprised fishermen recently caught a grass carp in the St. Lawrence River. This raises major concern as to the presence of the invasive fish.
Pierre Thériault and Gerald Boucher, commercial fisherman from Lanoraie, northeast of Montreal, reeled in the 29-kilogram Grass Carp on May 27.
— Dominic Brassard (@Brassardd) June 3, 2016
“We really weren’t sure what it was. It looked like a carp … It had the same colour, but it was huge! We could see it was different from the others,” said Thériault to CBC News
Pierre contacted Quebec’s Forests, Wildlife and Parks Ministry, it was confirmed that the fishermen’s catch was a one-metre-long female grass carp, one of four Asian carp species.
Some Asian carp, such as the silver and bighead, reproduce quickly and can eat up to 20 per cent of their body weight in plankton each day.
This Carp was probably between 15 and 30 years old, according to biologist Michel Legault. According to preliminary analysis, the fish’s belly was full of sterile eggs.
We actually thought the Asian carp was confined,” said Legault. “But we know that in recent years the grass carp has been found in a small section of Lake Erie. And last summer, nine grass carp were caught in the Toronto area.”
“This is not good news, in principle.”
The Quebec’s ministry will spend $1.7 million over three years to try and detect the Asian carp in the river and educate commercial fishermen.