AP: Study says grass carp have invaded three of the Great Lakes

We’ve posted articles before about these scary invasive species. The news isn’t getting any better. Please be careful what you put in our waterways.

Traverse City, Michigan — Invasive grass carp have reached three of the Great Lakes and pose a significant environmental risk there, but time remains to prevent them from getting out of hand, according to a scientific analysis released Friday.

The voracious grass carp is among four Asian carp species threatening to reach the world’s largest surface freshwater system. Bighead and silver carp, the most feared, would compete with native fish that eat microscopic plants and animals, while grass carp feast on aquatic vegetation that provides crucial habitat and spawning grounds.

Grass carp have been found in Lakes Erie, Michigan and Ontario, although it’s uncertain how many there are or how widely they have spread, U.S. and Canadian researchers said. At least some are reproducing.

“For the first time, we have a binational, peer-reviewed study by some of the best minds and practitioners in the field who have a consensus on what the risk is to the Great Lakes from grass carp, and it’s pretty substantial,” said Marc Gaden, spokesman for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

Grass carp were introduced to the U.S. in the early 1960s to control weed growth in waterways. Like other Asian carp, some escaped into the Mississippi River and have migrated northward toward the Great Lakes.

It has long been known that at least a small number of grass carp were in the lakes, Gaden said. Some may have slipped into Lake Michigan through a Chicago-area waterway network before electric barriers were erected to block fish migration. People might have released others, intentionally or by accident.

“They’ve just been humming in the background,” Gaden said. “They haven’t gotten a lot of attention. Once in a while one would get captured.”

There’s more to the story.

Comments are closed.


Wanted Dead: Alligatorweed

Scientific Name: Alternanthera philoxeroides A native of South America, alligatorweed was inadvertently introduced to Southeastern U.S. in the late 1800s. Its white flowers are clover-like and bloom a summer. Most commonly found floating in mats along the water’s edge, alligatorweed also grows immersed and even terrestrially. Its opposing leaves are lance shaped, 1-2 inches long, […]

Read more »


Storm Drain Marking Project

  Do you know where the water that flows into a storm drain goes? This water does not go to a treatment plant but flows directly into our streams, lakes, and rivers. Many people poor oil, paint, yard waste, and other pollutants into the storm drain because they think the water will be treated before […]

Read more »


Kiosks help us tell the story

RiverLink and MountainTrue have developed informational kiosks for each river access point along the French Broad River Paddle Trail with a grant from the North Carolina Recreational Trails Program. Each kiosk focuses on historical and natural features of the river, as well as paddle trail information including maps and boater resources. These kiosks aid users and […]

Read more »

Upcoming Events

Get Volunteer Updates

Add your name and email to our volunteer list to receive new volunteer opportunities straight to your inbox at the start of each month.

By submitting this form, you are granting: RiverLink, 170 Lyman Street, Asheville, NC, 28801, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.

Newsletter Sign-up

Get Involved

RiverLink is a

Volunteer »

Explore | View All

Water Quality




RiverLink Instagram

River Facts | View All

"The French Broad River is the third oldest river in the world."

Blue Ridge Heritage National Heritage Area