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					        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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