The Spread Grass Carp 1997 2006 Silver Carp 1997 2006 Prevention The Biggest Step taken to prevent the invasion of Asian carp is the completion of the Dispersal Barrier System in the Chicago Waterway. The system contains electric barriers consisting of steel cables secured to the bottom Bighead Carp Asian of the canal that are charged with low voltage 1997 2006 DC current, creating an electric field in the water. In theory, the electric field makes fish uncomfortable, preventing them from crossing it. Unfortunately, Asian carp have been found on the Lake Michigan side of the barrier. Carp As a result, the State of Michigan and other Great Lake States have called for a complete ecological separation of the Chicago Waterway Black Carp System and Lake Michigan. 1997 2006 The public is asked to not move live fish from one location to another, to never use wild- caught baitfish in waters other than where they were caught, to drain lake and river water from live wells and bilges before leaving any body of water, and to not release Asian carp back into the water if caught. If you do happen to come across one, call the DNR immediately. LETS BLOW THOSE Alec Kerr SPECIES INTO Environmental Science 10/21/11 PIECES! The Big Four Background Grass Carp Invasive species are organisms not native to a region, whose introduction causes economic Grass carp can eat up to 40% of their body harm, environmental harm, or harm to human weight every day. They can grow up to 5 ft and health. In their natural habitats, these organisms 100 lbs, and live up to 21 years. They have a developed stable populations and complex torpedo shaped body with large scales. relationships with other species. When removed from the predators, parasites, diseases, and competitors that have kept their numbers in check, species introduced into new habitats often overrun their new home and crowd out native species. Once established, invasive species can Potential Impact rarely be eliminated. Silver Carp Asian carp were imported into the US to keep aquaculture facilities clean and to provide Silver carp grow extremely fast, gaining up fresh fish for markets. In the 1980s the carp to 12 lbs a year. Fully matured they can reach 3 Great Lakes Food Web escaped and started swimming north. ft and 60 lbs. They can also leap 10 ft out of the Asian carp that feed mainly on types of air. Right now the carp are overwhelming the plankton will compete with species like ciscos, Mississippi and Illinois River systems, bloaters, and yellow perch. Because of their comprising over 95% of the biomass in some massive appetites they will quickly outnumber areas. Grass carp inhabit waters in 45 states, the native species. By doing so, they will also bighead carp in 18, silver carp in 12, and black affect those species’ predators, like lake trout carp in only a few. and walleye. More troubling is that Asian carp The Great Lakes offer the Asian carp a appear to be highly opportunistic when it comes Bighead Carp suitable spawning habitat. The carp thrive in to feeding, so there is no knowing what will vegetated shorelines; areas that prove habitat for actually happen, Bighead carp have large, scaleless heads, feeding. The Great Lakes basin contains large mouths, and eyes located low on their numerous streams with suitable spawning Great Lakes Economy heads. Adults can grow up to 140 lbs and almost habitats and large areas of vegetated shorelines, The establishment of Asian carp could 5 ft in length. particularly large bays, wide river mouths, have a serious impact on the Great Lakes’ connecting channels, wetlands, and areas of still commercial, tribal, and sport fisheries. Reduced water. The carp certainly will not thrive in all abundance of native fish will result in reduced portions of the basin – for example, in the deep, harvest by sport and commercial fishers. cold open waters of the lakes. However, Reduced harvest will cause reduction in angling sufficient habitat for spawning and feeding exists quality and economic impact to those whose in all five of the Great Lakes. livelihood depends on sport and commercial Black Carp Asian carp are reproducing exponentially fisheries. The introduction could cost over $7 and spreading fast, and the Chicago Waterway billion annually. Black carp grow up to 4 ft, weighing 70 System provides the carp with a clear path from lbs. They generally feed on snails and mussels. the Illinois to the Great Lakes. Carp have been Human Health They look similar to grass carp, but are darker. found as close as 6 miles from Lake Michigan. Silver carp, also known as “flying carp,” Because of their large size, tremendous appetite, can leap up to 10 ft out of the water and have and rapid rate of reproduction, they pose a already caused serious harm to boaters. If the significant threat to the Great Lakes. carp become abundant in the great lakes, the operators of nearly 1 million boats will be at risk.
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