CANADA CALLING FOR ERADICATION OF GRASS CARP
Monday, July 30th 2018
The Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation is calling on representatives in Michigan and Ohio to help put a stop to a Grass carp invasion.
Foundation Chair Mary Muter says the crisis point has been reached as the large Asian carp species has been found as far as Lake Huron — somewhere researchers said they wouldn’t reach for another decade.
Grass carp, which were originally detected in the Sandusky River emptying out into Lake Erie, eat more than their own body weight in shallow vegetation every day. Muter says the fish can grow to up to 70lbs and will decimate wetland essential for spawning and feeding native fish and animals.
“The impact on our native species will be very significant and if not possibly irreversible,” she says.
Muter says researchers found more than 7,800 eggs in the Sandusky River in 2017 and the fish have been caught in deep water by fishermen in Lake Erie, an area Muter says the shoreline fish would only go to head to a new feeding ground.
“These fish reproduce several times a year, they lay more than 100,000 eggs, they are not like any other native species that we have in the Great Lakes,” says Muter, who added there were only eight accidentally found eggs in the Sandusky River in 2015.
Canada is spending up to $20-million over five-years to prevent Grass carp from establishing in the Canadian Great Lakes and there’s an agreement in place that guarantees the help of both sides in crisis situations.
She says the U.S. side is monitoring the fish, instead of taking the opportunity to eliminate the species as they gather up the mouth of the Detroit River to move north.
“Simple net them and destroy them, and that’s what Canada and Ontario wants to have happen,” says Muter. “Instead they’re ignoring that.”
Several species of Asian carp were introduced to ponds in the southern U.S. to control vegetation in the ’70s. They escaped into the ecosystem after flooding events helped them make their way into the Mississippi watershed.
— with files from AM800’s Rob HindiTags: Asian Carp, Fisheries, Grass Carp, Great Lakes, Marty Muter