At the end of the day, i do not think we can win this one. At the same time i would like to see several salmon species also introduced into the lake. We have the fresh water adapted species out west and the potential of the Great lakes is huge. It all feeds into a massive Great Lakes Restoration program.
Until now the great lakes have been fished out and also used as an industrial dumping pond. Thjis depleted environment is now home to a number of discordant invasives who all need a massive healthy ecosystem to keep them in check.
Many will howl over this prescription but going backward is not an option.
Evidence of Asian carp found in Michigan river
Invasive Asian carp species threaten to ruin the sport and commercial fisheries of the Great Lakes. Federal government action is slow.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014By Martin Barillas
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that traces of the DNA of silver carp - a species of Asian carp - have been found in the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County, on the west side of the state. The two agencies are collaborating to assess what they term is a "positive environmental DNA (eDNA) result." In July 2014, over two hundred water samples were taken along the Kalamazoo River, from below the Caulkins Dam in Allegan County to the mouth of the river that opens into Lake Michigan. Lab results were reviewed by Michigan's DNR on Oct. 2. One of the of 200 samples, which was taken from just below Caulkins Dam, tested positive for silver carp eDNA.
Two hundred more eDNA samples were collected nearby during the month of June, but gave no positive results. The sample taken in July represents the first time that silver carp eDNA has been found in the Great Lakes besides in Michigan’s Great Lakes waters outside of Maumee Bay in Lake Erie, where the Maumee River drains a watershed in Ohio and passes near the city of Toledo. Various Asian carp species have now naturalized in various river systems of the United States, especially in the southern states. They were introduced originally by commercial fish farms in order to control algae growth in fish ponds. They are prolific breeders and crowd out native species. They are also known to leap en masse from the water when disturbed by noises such as boat motors. Flying fish have injured several people.
The positive results of the sample means that scientists have found silver carp genetic material that may include fish scales, excrement or mucous. According to a release from the Michigan DNR, there is no evidence that silver carp have established a population in the Kalamazoo River. "In addition to live fish, genetic material can enter water bodies via boats, fishing gear and the droppings of fish-eating birds. The lower Kalamazoo River is popular for recreational activities including fishing and boating. Activities such as these may increase the possibility of eDNA entering the river without the presence of a live silver carp," said the release.
“Although not conclusive, this finding heightens our vigilance and sets into motion a specific response,” said MDNR Director Keith Creagh. “We will work with our partner organizations and anglers on next steps to protect the Great Lakes and its tributaries against this significant threat.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is providing resources and technical expertise to the state of Michigan in an effort to prevent the establishment of self-sustaining Asian carp populations similar to those found in the watersheds of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Sportsmen and commercial fishermen have been asked to report any Asian carp that they may find. So far, Michigan's DNR claims that it has received no reports from anglers in the Kalamazoo River area of live Asian carp. The DNR has established specialized traps that are designed to capture the invasive fish.
The DNR is prepared to respond to findings of bighead, silver or black carp in the Great Lakes and river tributaries. MDNR conducted field and tabletop response exercises in the St. Joseph River in 2013 and the western end of Lake Erie near Detroit in September of this year. Besides these exercises, the DNR collected almost 1,800 eDNA water samples this year from Great Lakes tributaries in southwest and southeast Michigan.
With implementation of the recently signed Council of Great Lakes Governors’ Aquatic Invasive Species Mutual Aid Agreement, the response exercises brought together staff from other Great Lakes state and federal agencies, including Canada and Ontario, to test response scenarios and various equipment and gear used to capture Asian carp species. Michigan has a comprehensive Asian Carps Management Plan to guide prevention, early detection and management responses. In addition, the state has recently launched a comprehensive invasive species effort to address threats to Michigan’s waters and land.
Asian carp, including bighead and silver carp, pose a significant threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem, the $7 billion fishery, and other economic interests dependent on the Great Lakes and its tributaries. Silver and bighead carp are likely to compete with native and recreational fish species and are known to quickly reproduce.
“The Kalamazoo River results further point to the urgency of the Great Lakes states to be vigilant in seeking all solutions to keep Asian carp and other invasive species out of the Great Lakes basin,” said Creagh. “Michigan continues to advocate for hydrological separation between the Mississippi River basin and the Great Lakes basin as the best long-term solution to the threat of Asian carp. By working together as a united front, we can address the imminent threat invasive species pose to our quality of life.” Currently, there is an electrified weir in Chicago where the waters of the Great Lakes are united with the Mississippi River system at a canal chokepoint controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers. The spread of invasive Asian carp has been a frequent source of contention between the state governments of the states of the Great Lakes, as well as a sore point in bilateral relations between the US and Canada.
Sports fishermen have asked to familiarize themselves with Asian carp, and to identify them by sex. Asian carp can be spread through the use of live bait buckets. Citizens are asked to drain all water from their boats and to clean boats and gear. Invasive species and eDNA are known to “hitchhike” within live-wells and attach to boat trailers, anchors and fishing gear.