From: USGS
Published April 27, 2017 08:02 AM

Asian Carp Would Have Adequate Food to Survive in Lake Michigan

If invasive bighead carp and silver carp spread into Lake Michigan, there would be enough food available for these particular species of Asian carp to survive, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

This information is critical in helping resource managers mitigate effects of an Asian carp invasion. Great Lakes fisheries generate economic activity of approximately $7 billion annually in the United States alone. Due to the introduction or invasion of many non-native species, Lake Michigan’s ecosystem has already undergone broad and rapid change in fish and other aquatic life. If bighead and silver carp were to populate Lake Michigan, they have the potential to adversely affect the ecosystem and fishing industry.

Scientists used predictive models to simulate fish growth and food consumption to determine the suitability of the Great Lakes to Asian carp invasions. USGS scientists used satellite imagery of Lake Michigan showing near-surface algae to determine how much food would be available for Asian carp. Green algae and blue-green algae, specifically floating algal blooms that can be seen on the surface, are a preferred food source for Asian carp. The water temperatures and algal concentrations detected in Lake Michigan from 2009-2011 show that the bighead and silver carp populations could not only live in this environment, but continue to grow.

 

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