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State Works to Defend Lake Erie from Asian Carp

Monday, April 21, 2014 at 6:40 PM

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Photo courtesy of  U.S. Geological Survey / flickr.com

The looming threat of an Asian carp invasion in Lake Erie is a big concern for state officials. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow talks to one of Ohio’s top fish experts about what the state is doing about the problem.

Researchers say they’ve found biological evidence of DNA of Bighead Asian carp in Eastern Ohio - they’ve confirmed Asian carp DNA in the Muskingum River near Zanesville. This serves as the most recent reminder of the continuous threat this invasive species poses to Ohio’s waterways and most importantly, Lake Erie.

Asian carp rapidly reproduce and out eat the native fish species, making carp an ecological threat. Rich Carter, executive administrator for fish management and research for the state, says the warmer weather gives researchers better opportunities to physically identify and track the fish.

“The weather does allow us to be more effective in getting out in the field because the water levels are stable,” Carter said, “the water conditions are more preferable for spawning so everything kind of comes together there.”

The state is currently working on ways of blocking the fish from gaining entrance to Lake Erie. There are two gateways in northeast Ohio that are designated as medium risk connections.

Andy Chow at the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau. 

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