Asian carp pose substantial environmental risk to the Great Lakes if they become established there, according to a recent bi-national Canadian and United States risk assessment.
Two species of Asian carp, bighead and silver carps, pose an environmental risk to the Great Lakes within 20 years, with the risk increasing over time. Lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie face the highest risk relative to the other lakes.
The risk assessment report was led by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and included a team of scientists from Canada and the United States. Two U.S. Geological Survey scientists were among the co-authors of the report.
The reason for the high risk of invasion is because portions of the Great Lakes offer sufficient food and habitat to enable these invasive fish to spawn, survive and spread, the report’s authors noted. They identified the most likely pathway for Asian carp to enter the Great Lakes is via the Chicago Area Waterway System.
The Binational Asian Carp Risk Assessment can be accessed at
English (PDF) http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Csas-sccs/publications/resdocs-docrech/2011/2011_114-eng.pdf
French (PDF) http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/Publications/SAR-AS/2011/2011_071-fra.pdf
The 2012 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework can be accessed at asiancarp.us
sources: U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada