For the first time, evidence of invasive Asian Carp has been found in Michigan waters near Toledo. DNA samples from Big Head and Silver Carp were taken in Lake Erie near the mouth of the Maumee River.
Researchers from the University of Notre Dame identified DNA evidence from both Big Head and Silver Carp in Lake Erie near Toledo. There were only a few positive samples out of a couple thousand.
DNA markers could be left from either a live fish or a dead one or even from a few scales that rubbed off the bottom of a boat.
“It would indicate scales or mucous or slime or something like that,” says Todd Kalish, who oversees management in Lake Erie for the Department of Natural Resources.
But there also is a possible route to Lake Erie during flooding of the Wabash River where the carp already have moved in and Kalish thinks the shallow bays of Erie, with warmer waters and plenty of food, would be a carp paradise.
He says if they do get in they will have an impact, when you consider how these large fish filter the water for food.
“They actually don’t have true stomachs, which requires them to feed almost constantly. And they can eat 20 percent to 40 percent of their body weight in one day,” he says.
Carp would suck up the same microscopic organisms that feed young walleye and perch.
State and federal agencies plan to step-up a more intensive effort to find live carp near rivers that feed into western Lake Erie.
A new Canadian report says if the carp do get into one of the Great Lakes they would likely to spread to all the lakes.