3/12/14

In the news: Grass carp found to be making their way into the Great Lakes

While much of the press about a carp invasion in the Great Lakes has focused on the bighead and silver varieties of Asian carp, a new study is showing that grass carp are making their way into and threatening the Lakes as well. 

From UPI.com
"Grass carp, a plant-eating species of the invasive Asian carp family, have also been found spawning in Lake Erie and its many tributaries… 

Though fears over invading Asian carp have largely centered on bighead and silver carp -- which gulp down large amounts of plankton, the all-important food-source foundation for a healthy aquatic ecosystem -- the new study suggests conservationists should pay attention to grass carp too.

Grasses are also an important nutritional source for native fish species, and as its name suggests, grass carp could prove detrimental in that department.

The U.S. government has already spent upwards of $200 million trying to slow the encroachment of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. Many worry their growing presence will turn the Great Lakes into one giant carp pond -- ruining ecological diversity and the multi-billion dollar fishing industry in the region. Regional authorities remain in discussion with federal agencies over further mitigation efforts."
Read the complete article at the link above.

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