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Asian Carp Showing Up in Great Lakes

November 17th 2013 05:25
Hopefully, it's not the end of America's Great Lakes Region but scientists have finally documented that an Asian carp species has successfully reproduced within the Great Lakes watershed.

Before anyone panics, remember that Asian carp is a catchall name for several carp species including silver, bighead, grass, and black carp originating from Southeast Asia.

Silver carp are the fish many think about. These are the fish you see leaping out of the water when startled by boat engines. Grass carp have also been discovered to a greater extent and these creatures feed on vegetation in waterways and rather than smaller plankton or other aquatic animals. Still, this poses a risk as they may devour plants favored by native species.
grass carp
An example of the grass carp.

Although it may sound selfish, this invasion my bring about a change to North American thinking. Currently, carp are not a very desirable catch because they are a bony fish and must be cleaned carefully lest the meat is ruined. In European and Asian countries on the other hand, carp are very popular as a freshwater sport-fish.

Although the discovery of Asian carp in the Great Lakes is far from desirable, it's not the end of the world. There are a lot of invasive species out there and now we have another. One comment tacked onto the accompanying article suggests open fishing on Asian carp. This sounds reasonable but remember, carp are not known as an edible fish so, this could lead to several dead, rotting fish carcases lying around our water ways.

Maybe that's why scientists are needed????

Remember to take the hooks outta yer pocket before ya sit down!

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