Getting the Jump on Asian Carp

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources collected invasive Asian Carp yesterday for study using “electrofishing” equipment that stuns the fish, at Barkley Dam about 1,000 KM from Lake Erie.

This video will show you what might happen if we get Asian Carp in our Canadian Lakes:

We published a study that warns Asian carp could become the most common fish in Lake Erie.

This study is based on computer modeling that projects bighead and silver carp eventually could make up about 34% of the total fish weight in Lake Erie; this lake already has the most fish of the five Great Lakes.

This computer model was conducted by scientists with several universities and government agencies in the U.S and Canada. If the Asian Carp are successful in entering Lake Erie, species like Walleye and Rainbow trout, along with prey species like Gizzard Shad and Emerald Shiners, could all decline. The study shows that Smallmouth Bass will increase up to 16%. Read more on this study here.

One Reply to “Getting the Jump on Asian Carp”

  1. Hindsight as they say, is always 20/20. Had our illustrious Aquaculturalists indoctrinated a little foresight, we would not be so blind in our present state mind trying to correct their inane procedure.

    Asian Carp are all native to the rivers, reservoirs and lakes in China and southern Russia. They were introduced to North America in the early 1970s for biological control of algae, plants and snails in aquaculture ponds. It is presumed that the Asian carps escaped into the Mississippi river basin from southern United States aquaculture facilities during flooding occurrences between the 1970s and 1990s. Asian carp prefer cool to moderate water temperatures like those found in the Great Lakes and reproduce rapidly.

    As was noted, the Great Lakes Basin consists of the Great Lakes and the surrounding lands of the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the United States, and the province of Ontario in Canada, whose direct surface runoff and watersheds form a large drainage basin that feeds into the lakes.

    The magnitude of the Great Lakes water system is difficult to appreciate, even for those who live within the basin. The lakes contain about 23,000 km3 (5,500 cu. mi.) of water, covering a total area of 244,000 km2 (94,000 sq. mi.) The Great Lakes are the largest system of fresh surface water on earth, containing roughly 18 percent of the world supply. Only the polar ice caps contain more fresh water.

    That is a lot of water to cover when undertaking an operation prevent the spread of or even eradicate the Asian Carp.

    Electrofishing can also cause injury to the fish, not that we are concerned about Asian Carp to any extent. The electricity causes muscle spasms that damage the vertebrae and for unknown reasons, this is more common and severe in longer fish. What is a concern, is the effect it will have on other species of fish and the many life forms in the ecosystem itself.

    As I have stated in the Fish’n Canada blog “Invasive Species: Keeping Them Out of Our Waterways”, invasive fish in the Great Lakes do not just include Asian Carp and Gobies. The fishing industry in their eagerness to up the ante and improve the sport of angling, have introduced non indigenous Atlantic and Pacific Salmon along with the Common Carp from Asia. All for our so called recreational pleasure at natures expense.

    The question arises, “Have these non-native species had a similar effect on the Great Lakes ecosystem over the years as do the Asian Carp? Logically speaking, one would assume so but to what extent? Our recurring habit of solving one problem and creating another seems to be our downfall.

    Since this introduction has occurred it would appear almost impossible to scour the depths of every Great Lake hunting it down to extinction. That is not likely to happen, considering the spawning rate of these Carp species. Look at the proliferation of the “Goby” for instance. People went ballistic when they showed up in the ecosystem and rightly so, but predator fish and birds, (the hated Cormorant for one) are making a meal of them. The same could be said for the Carp fry.”

    What can we do to reverse the blight we have imposed on our ecosystem? In my estimation, not much. The sheer size of the Great Lakes and it’s connecting North American water systems has likely left the answer with Mother Nature and her assistants.

    Yes, foresight is always better than hindsight. So from here on into the future, let’s keep our eyes open, our minds clear and our angling egos in check! Think about the possible consequences of your actions in all areas of your life before rushing headlong into oblivion. Otherwise, we pay a heavy price that we all will regret for years to come.

Leave a Reply

Back to top