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article imageAsian carp found in the Lake Erie basin

By Tim Sandle     Nov 2, 2013 in Environment
New York - New evidence indicates that invasive Asian carp have bred in the Lake Erie basin. Scientists fear the impact that the carp will have on established ecosystems.
Over time several species of Asian carp have spread throughout waterways in the central U.S. They now appear to have reached at least one of the Great Lakes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The USGS have found four grass carp in Ohio's Sandusky River, a tributary of Lake Erie. The concern is that carp consume huge amounts of plankton (tiny plants and animals) that are vital to aquatic food chain. The fear is that the carp will disrupt the ecosystem. The carp were imported from Asia decades ago to control unwanted plants in settings like sewage treatment lagoons. They escaped and have spread into the Mississippi and other waters across the heartland.
Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes in North America. It is bounded by Ontario to the north, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York to the south, and Michigan to the west. The lake is named after the Erie tribe of Native Americans who lived along its southern shore.
Duane Chapman, a USGS fisheries biologist and member of the research team, is quoted in a press release as saying "These findings are significant because they confirm recent USGS research indicating that shorter rivers, like the Sandusky, are potential spawning sites for grass carp and other Asian carps as well."
The identification of the carp has been published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research. The paper is titled "First evidence of grass carp recruitment in the Great Lakes Basin."
More about Asian carp, Carp, Great lakes, Plankton
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