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Asian carp managers issue action plan for 2018

May 24, 2018

Silver carp (top) and bighead carp (bottom) are easy to confuse.
Credit Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee

The Asian carp action plan for this year is out. It's the plan U.S. and Canadian agencies put together to try to stop carp from spreading.

Charlie Wooley is the deputy regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Midwest region. 

“The most important priorities for us in controlling Asian carp is to keep them out of the Great Lakes,” he says.

Wooley says they’re continuing to monitor the Great Lakes and the rivers feeding the lakes for carp, and they’ll be testing new technology in the field.

“We’re trying to develop a couple of new deterrents. One is the use of carbon dioxide and underwater sound to deter Asian carp from movements through locks or other types of chambers," says Wooley.

Some of the main initiatives that are detailed in the Asian carp plan include:

  • Increased efforts to field test potential Asian carp deterrents including underwater sound and carbon dioxide.
  • Refinement and use of more effective sampling and harvest strategies informed by a population model.
  • Additional work to address the growing threats from black and grass carp.
  • Increased use of focused contract commercial fishing to remove adult Asian carp in the upper Illinois River to support ACRCC management goals.

Wooley says they’re especially concerned about keeping bighead and silver carp out of the lakes. Fertile grass carp have been found in Lakes Ontario, Michigan and Erie, and scientists have found evidence grass carp are reproducing naturally in some tributaries to Lake Erie.

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