Photo: Kate Gardiner (flickr)
A new research project from Purdue University has unearthed alarming facts about the ability of Asian carp to be able to spread farther than originally known.
Fish in Indiana and the Great Lakes region may be at a higher risk from attacks by Asian carp than originally though. Purdue University researchers have shown the carp may be able to spread outside areas where they were concentrated in the past.
“It can be kind of comical actually, to see them jumping out of the water,” he says. “But the problem is, if you’re cruising around in your motor boat at 30 miles an hour and you have a fish that’s basically you know weighs at least as much as a bowling ball, and it smacks you in the face, it can cause damage.”
Indiana Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Habitat Coordinator Doug Keller says the DNR commissioned the research after noticing that flooding in one area may lead to eventual migration of the carp.
“We wanted to know how the Asian carp were using the upper part of the Wabash River so we could understand better the threat of them potentially spreading through Eagle Marsh,” he says.
Asian Carp were introduced to the Illinois River in the 1970s to help control high levels of plankton. They have since spread to the Wabash and other nearby waterways.