Open lake waters may defeat Asian carp

Nov. 27, 2009 at 1:05 PM
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MILWAUKEE, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Invasive Asian carp pose a dire threat to the Great Lakes' ecosystem but may not be able to breed in open lake waters, a U.S. expert on the fish said.

"If a few fish get into the Great Lakes, it's not game over," said Duane Chapman, a U.S. Geological Survey researcher who studies the food-hogging fish on the heavily infested Missouri River.

Researchers believe the big fish have breached an electric barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, a link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River basin.

To breed, enough fish have to enter the lake to find each other and then find a place to spawn. Open waters present a problem because fertilized Asian carp eggs require long free-flowing rivers.

Without a current to keep the eggs afloat, the eggs sink to the bottom and die, Chapman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a story published Friday.

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