By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes EchoAsian carp may be one of the better known of the many aquatic invasive species attempting to make their way into the Great Lakes basin. They are one of the five “usual suspects” recognized by The Nature Conservancy in a public awareness campaign. Big head and silver are the most common types of carp, having been spotted in 18 different states, according to The Nature Conservancy. Big head carp can grow up to 60 inches and weigh over 100 pounds. Silver carp are a bit smaller, with a length of about 40 inches and a weight of 60 pounds.
At the end of each month, Current State check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For this Great Lakes Month in Review, Gary focuses on ice cover and Asian carp fatigue. Wilson last spoke with Current State after the Army Corps’ study on Asian carp in the Great Lakes was released. Wilson says that carp fatigue has set in, meaning that Asian carp reports are in the news so frequently that people tend to tune it out. Great Lakes Month in Review: Ice cover, Asian carp and Federal funding by Great Lakes Echo
Current State checks in monthly with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we’re focusing on petcoke piles and Asian carp.
Study indicates Asian carp may already be in Great Lakes by EmanueleB
A new study released in April finds Asian carp may in fact be reaching the Great Lakes. The Asian carp is an invasive species with an appetite large enough to potentially decimate the food chain ecosystem of the Great Lakes. There have been many efforts to contain the spread of the fish in the Chicago Area Waterway System to connects to Lake Michigan. The study now raises new questions about the effectiveness of that system. Current State’s Mark Bashore talks with study co-author Dr. Andrew Mahon, assistant professor of biology at Central Michigan University, and Dr. Tammy Newcomb, senior water policy advisor for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
University of Minnesota researchers are recruiting common carp to test a way to eliminate Asian carp, according to WCCO-TV. Fisheries experts fear that the invasive Asian carp may spread into the Great Lakes and elsewhere and outcompete native fish with its voracious appetite. The researchers are fitting common carp, or “Judas fish,” with transmitters to lead them to other, larger schools of common carp, the station reports. “(Carp) seem to be actually exceptionally social, they really hang out together,” researcher Peter Sorensen told the station. “We have to confirm that, but it sure looks that way.”
If the experiment shows how a common carp can “betray” other common carp locations, the same technique could be used in Asian carp populations to help exterminate them in the future, said Bill Hudson, the story’s reporter.
Longtime environment writer Jeff Alexander just launched a nifty feature to track the Asian carp crisis. It’s modeled after the Doomsday Clock that scientists created in the 1940s to track how the world inched toward nuclear holocaust. The Asian Carp Doomsday Clock features hands made of images of bighead and silver carp – two of the species biologists and others fear could devastate the Great Lakes ecosystem. Jeff does a nice round up of a week’s worth of bad news along the carp Maginot Line to justify setting the hands at a mere five minutes before midnight. When the original Doomsday Clock was launched in 1947, it was set at seven minutes to midnight.