Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tiny number of Asian carp could be big problem for Great Lakes

Date:
September 11, 2013
Source:
University of Waterloo
Summary:
A tiny number of Asian carp could establish a population of the invasive fish in the Great Lakes, according to new research.

A tiny number of Asian carp could establish a population of the invasive fish in the Great Lakes, according to new research from the University of Waterloo.

Related Articles


Published this week in the Biological Invasions journal, research from Professor Kim Cuddington of the Faculty of Science at Waterloo indicates that the probability of Asian carp establishment soars with the introduction of 20 fish into the Great Lakes, under some conditions.

"Although established Asian carp populations including the Silver and Bighead carps are widely present in the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, it's expected that it's only a matter of time before the population migrates through the many hydrological connections to the Great Lakes," said Professor Cuddington. "Lake Erie, in particular, provides a highly suitable habitat for the fish with very productive embayments for the fish to find food."

A mature Asian carp can grow up to 50 kg and consumes about 40 per cent of its body weight daily. A minimal length of 70 cm is considered a mature size, with much more substantial lengths being reported. In competition for food and space, the Asian carp has a significant size advantage over native fish species.

"This species will have a huge impact on the food web," says Professor Cuddington. "Not only is it a fast-growing fish physically, but the population itself grows very quickly. A female can lay well over a million eggs a year, and with no known predators present in the Great Lakes, the Asian carp could dominate the waters and impact fisheries."

Professor Cuddington believes that we will not be able to stop the carp from entering the Great Lakes, and resources should focus on how to intercept new arrivals. If successful breeding occurs, biological control and trapping of vulnerable juveniles might prove the most successful strategy.

Individual fish have already been caught in two of the Great Lakes. The probability of Asian carp establishment changes dramatically if only 10 of the creatures are introduced. With 10 fish, the probability of a population of Asian carp is only 50 per cent, but with 20 fish, it jumps to 75 per cent, under some conditions.

Maturation rates for this invasive fish also play a significant role in positive population growth rates. According to Professor Cuddington, if the fish typically reach maturity within three years, then it will take about 20 years to reach to establish a moderate population, and between 40 and 50 years for that population to become very large. If cooler water slows down fish development time to five years, then the fish population might take more than a century to establish.

Asian carp were introduced to the United States in the 1970s as an agricultural fish used to combat algae in catfish ponds. They escaped into the Illinois River during the floods of the 1990s and later entered the Mississippi River. With recorded densities of 13 tonnes of fish per river mile in the Illinois River, the dangerous flying carp phenomena has schools of fish jump upwards of 10 feet sometimes injuring boaters. Anglers armed with crossbows take to the water to capture the large fish during sport fishing tournaments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Waterloo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. Cuddington, W. J. S. Currie, M. A. Koops. Could an Asian carp population establish in the Great Lakes from a small introduction? Biological Invasions, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10530-013-0547-3

Cite This Page:

University of Waterloo. "Tiny number of Asian carp could be big problem for Great Lakes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130911093151.htm>.
University of Waterloo. (2013, September 11). Tiny number of Asian carp could be big problem for Great Lakes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130911093151.htm
University of Waterloo. "Tiny number of Asian carp could be big problem for Great Lakes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130911093151.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins