Lake Erie Changing, We Must Prevent Asian Carp
Lake Erie is changing due to high phosphorous levels. It is causing the the habitat to change to an environment more favorable to largemouth bass, white perch, catfish and potentially Asian carp. As the Asian Carp has moved up the Mississippi and now the Missouri, there are huge concerns that this nasty invasive species could wipe out the forage for our game fish and spell disaster in ways that the Round Goby never could.
Lake Erie changing, we must prevent Asian Carp
As seen in this extensive article about high phosphorous levels, thought to be due to poor farming practices, Lake Erie’s game fish populations are being affected by the algae blooms. There may be more serious changes to come.
As Lake Erie changes, what is the worst case scenario?
Many researchers, including Asian carp expert Duane Chapman of the U.S. Geological Survey, say Western Lake Erie is becoming a phosphorus-rich environment where Asian carp could thrive – if they get here. It has all the right ingredients. The Maumee and Sandusky rivers would be ideal spawning habitat, as they have been for walleye and white bass. The noxious carp would voraciously consume a combination of plentiful algae and plankton needed by recently-hatched game fish.
If you’re unsure how much of a disaster the introduction of Asian carp would be for Lake Erie, watch the video footage put together by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission at glfcvideos.org. The GLFC stance is that if Asian carp invade the Great Lakes, they would become a dominant species and compete for food with native sport and commercial fish. Source
Watch the devastating impact of Asian carp on our great rivers.
It is very difficult to know what ultimate impact an invasive species will have on any ecosystem. As a smallmouth bass fisherman, this is a huge concern to me and I hope that we can reverse this devastating trend.
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