A newly released Canadian study concludes Asian would survive and spread in the Great Lakes. The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the most likely place for the invasive carp to get into the lakes is through the Chicago area waterway system.
If the carp end up in Lake Michigan, the most likely places for carp to find enough food and to reproduce are the Muskegon River and Grand Traverse and Green Bays.
The risk for ecological damage is listed as “moderate” in the report for in the first 20 years after carp get into the lakes. Big Head and Silver Carp can dramatically reduce plankton, tiny creatures that are the base of the aquatic food web and that might mean other fish species could decline.
There’s continuing debate over how much of a threat the carp would pose to the multi-billion dollar Great Lakes fishery.
Researchers this week are searching for live Asian carp in Calumet Lake near Chicago. That’s an unobstructed pathway for the carp to enter Lake Michigan and it’s where several samples of carp DNA have been found in past surveys.