Asian Carp Breeding Near Great Lakes Is Bad News For Indiana

Asian carp have been found breeding in the Great Lakes watershed, which could make eradicating them from Indiana's waterways more difficult.

asian carp

Photo: flickr (kate.gardiner)

Asian carp were originally imported to the U.S. to control plankton and snail populations.

Scientists have confirmed for the first time that the invasive Asian carp is breeding in the Great Lakes watershed and a Purdue University professor says that’s likely going to change the way Indiana deals with the growing Asian carp population in its waterways.

A group of scientists announced the findings this week, sparking concern among many state and national officials who are trying to eradicate the fish.

Reuben Goforth, an Assistant Professor of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences and Purdue University, says there is no silver bullet to remedy the problem, and the resiliency of the carp, as well as the millions of eggs they are able to introduce into the environment only make it harder.

“These fish have an inherent ability to acclimate themselves very well to new habitats,” Goforth says.

Many potential solutions to the problem are being studied including introducing toxins and electricity to their water supply in order to kill them. He says harvesting the fish remains the most viable solution but with the new findings, even that option does not seem very promising.

“The findings are kind of humbling in that the level of harvest would have to be really really really high,” Goforth says.

Asian carp were originally imported from Asia to help control plankton, snail and plant populations, but the carp are now overcrowding the ecosystems, eating up larger animals’ food supply and feeding on some organisms already in danger of extinction.

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