Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
RulesIllinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com

Prairie State Outdoors Categories

Top Story :: Opinion :: Illinois Outdoor News :: Fishing News :: Hunting News :: Birding News :: Nature Stories :: Miscellaneous News :: Fishing :: Big Fish Fridays :: Big Fish Stories :: State Fishing Reports :: Other Fishing Reports :: Fishing Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Fish :: Fishing Calendar :: Hunting :: Hunting Reports :: Hunting Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Hunt :: Tales from the Timber :: Turkey Tales :: Hunting Calendar :: Big Game Stories :: Nature and Birding :: Birding Bits :: Nature Newsbits :: Critter Corner :: Birding Calendar :: Stargazing :: In the Wild :: Miscellaneous Reports and Shorts :: Links :: Hunting Links :: Birding Links :: Video ::

Big Buck Stories

1960s :: 1980s :: 1991-92 :: 1992-93 :: 1993-94 :: 1994-95 :: 1995-96 :: 1997-98 :: 1998-99 :: 1999-2000 :: 2000-01 :: 2001-02 :: 2003-04 :: 2004-05 :: 2005-06 :: 2006-07 :: 2007-08 :: 2008-09 :: 2009-10 :: 2010-11 :: 2011-12 :: 2012-13 ::

Scattershooting

Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::


Print

Lake Eerie, tributaries “just right” for Asian carp

January 14, 2012 at 04:14 PM

The Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Lake Erie and some of its biggest tributary rivers have just the right water temperatures and other characteristics needed for greedy Asian carp to make themselves at home, says a federal study released Thursday.

A paper by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey says the Maumee River, which flows into Lake Erie at Toledo, Ohio, is a highly suitable area for Asian carp to lay their eggs. The Sandusky and Grand rivers are described as moderately suitable. Four others are less hospitable for the invasive fish but can’t be ruled out, said Patrick Kocovsky, a fishery biologist based at Sandusky, Ohio.

“The potential certainly exists for Asian carp to spawn in tributaries of Lake Erie,” Kocovsky said. “We are getting a clearer picture of the threat Asian carp pose to western Lake Erie, and that picture suggests there is cause for concern.”

Bighead and silver carp gorge on plankton, the base of the aquatic food chain. Both were imported decades ago to cleanse Southern fish farms and sewage treatment lagoons of algae, but they escaped into the Mississippi River and have migrated northward since.

They have infested numerous tributaries of the Mississippi, including the Illinois River, and are threatening to enter Lake Michigan through a shipping canal near Chicago. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says an electric barrier in the canal is blocking their path, although DNA from Asian carp has been found beyond the barrier. Genetic material from the carp also has been found past a dam upstream from Minneapolis, suggesting many of Minnesota’s most popular lakes might be at risk.

Scientists say if the carp gain a foothold in the Great Lakes, they could damage the region’s $7 billion fishing industry by starving out native plankton-eating fish, the primary diet of bigger species such as whitefish and salmon.

Particularly vulnerable is Lake Erie. The shallowest and warmest of the Great Lakes, it also has their most productive fishery. Its waters teem with walleye, perch, smallmouth bass and other species prized by sport anglers and commercial fishing interests.

No reproducing populations of Asian carp are known to exist in any of the lakes, although a few bighead and grass carp — another Asian variety — have turned up in Lake Erie over the years. How they got there is unclear. Grass carp eat rooted plants instead of plankton.

After Asian carp were found in Indiana’s Wabash River, authorities built a 1,177-foot chain-link fence near Fort Wayne in 2010 to prevent them from slipping through a marshy area and reaching the Maumee River.

Scientists differ over the likelihood that large populations of Asian carp could flourish in the Great Lakes.

The USGS study examined whether the Maumee and other rivers that flow into Lake Erie have the right conditions for the carp to reproduce. Previous research suggests the fish need summer water temperatures of about 70 degrees and at least 62 miles of undammed water flow where fertilized eggs can drift while incubating, although Kocovsky said those requirements might vary from one place to another.

His team found the Maumee has the best combination of temperatures, flow speed and length of passable waters to serve as an Asian carp nursery. The other leading candidates were the Sandusky River, which enters western Lake Erie at Sandusky, and the Grand River, which intersects with central Lake Erie at Fairport Harbor, Ohio.

Found to be less suitable were the Black, Huron, Portage and Vermilion rivers, although Kocovsky said there was a chance that carp could use them.

“One thing they’ve shown us is that they are highly adaptive,” he said.

The study also concluded that western Lake Erie is warm enough to enable young Asian carp to mature.

Eugene Braig, an Ohio State University extension fishery biologist who wasn’t involved with the USGS study, said he agreed with the assessment of the Maumee as prime territory for Asian carp spawning.

“It’s the one river on the Great Lakes where all these (requirements) are most likely to come together,” Braig said.

Advocacy groups and members of Congress from Michigan, one of five states suing the federal government to demand quicker action to keep the carp out of the Great Lakes, said the USGS report offered more evidence of the danger.

“Asian carp represent a critical threat to our boating, fishing and tourism industries,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Comment Area Pool Rules

  1. Read our Terms of Service.
  2. You must be a member. :: Register here :: Log In
  3. Keep it clean.
  4. Stay on topic.
  5. Be civil, honest and accurate.
  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Log In

Register as a new member

Next entry: Urban deer hunter finds success in the city

Previous entry: DNR in spotlight over sand mine at Starved Rock

Log Out

RSS & Atom Feeds

Prairie State Outdoors
PSO on Facebook
Promote Your Page Too

News Archives

November 2017
S M T W T F S
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    
Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons