Monday, December 28, 2009

Asian Carp threaten the Great Lakes and potentially the Finger Lakes

Several states and concerned citizen groups are seeking help from the Federal Government to stop the migration of this invasive species into the Great Lakes and waterways of the North East. Various mid-west states have already initiated law suits seeking blockage of infected waterways that connect with the Great lakes.

This is a threat that we also need to be very conscious of in the Finger Lakes. We encourage you to become more informed on the issue and urge our representatives in Washington to support controls on this serious threat to Upstate NY's fisheries.

Description of the Threat from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission:

Asian carp are a significant threat to the Great Lakes because of their size, fecundity, and ability to consume large amounts of food. Asian carp can grow to 100 pounds and up to four feet. They are well-suited to the cold water climate of the Great Lakes region, which is similar to their native Eastern Hemisphere habitats. It is expected that they would compete for food with the valuable sport and commercial fish. If they entered the system, they would likely become a dominant species in the Great Lakes.

Two species of Asian carp-the silver and the bighead carps-escaped into the Mississippi River from southern aquaculture facilities in the early 1990s when the facilities were flooded. Steadily, the carp have made their way northward, becoming the most abundant species in some areas of the Mississippi, out-competing native fish, and causing severe hardship to the people who fish the river. The Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal connects the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes. Currently, the carp are in the canal and have been sighted approximately 40 miles from Lake Michigan.

Links to more information on the Asian Carp threat:

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