Thursday, August 2, 2012

Agencies Partner To Assess Asian Carp In Lake Erie

Aug 1: In a joint release, Michigan and Ohio Departments of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announced they are collaborating to assess the current status of bighead and silver carp within western Lake Erie bays and select tributaries. Laboratory results received earlier this month indicated the presence of Asian carp environmental DNA (eDNA) in 6 of the 417 water samples collected in August 2011. Four samples from Sandusky Bay, in Ohio waters, tested positive for bighead carp eDNA, while two samples from north Maumee Bay, in Michigan waters, were positive for silver carp eDNA. The findings indicate the presence of genetic material left behind by the species, such as scales, excrement or mucous, but not the establishment of Asian carp in Lake Erie.

    Initial surveys began this week and are focusing on the collection of water samples for eDNA analysis. Electroshocking and netting survey efforts will also be conducted starting next week. The eDNA surveys will occur in the Sandusky River and Bay, and the Maumee River and Bay. Samples will be collected in the areas where positive eDNA samples were collected in 2011 and at additional locations believed to provide suitable bighead and silver carp habitat. MDNR Research Program Manager Tammy Newcomb said, "Our coordinated sampling efforts with partner agencies are very important in order to revisit areas where positive samples were collected last year, and to expand sampling to areas that may be reproductively favorable for bighead or silver carp. These are the areas where we can be most effective in preventing expansion of these species should they be present."

    MDNR and ODNR requested assistance from the USFWS to develop and implement this assessment effort. The USFWS is contributing significant technical and logistical expertise, as well as personnel, survey equipment and vessels. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will analyze the collected eDNA water samples.

    Access the joint release with additional details and links to information including videos and images (click here). [#GLakes]
32 Years of Environmental Reporting for serious Environmental Professionals