News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Meaden & Moore


Akron General

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Commission works to keep invasive Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes
The carp would threaten Lake Erie's environment and economy

Andy Chow
Asian Carp are a danger to both ecosystems and humans.
Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

An invasive species poses a threat to Ohio’s waterways. So experts are working to stop Asian carp from infiltrating the Great Lakes.


Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:29)

Right now Asian carp are moving up river towards the Great Lakes. They were first brought here in the 1970s to take care of the algae problem in southern catfish farms. But the invasive species broke out of those farms with the help of flooding and now pose a great ecological threat.

Preventing a big problem
Why? Because Asian carp like to eat -- a lot. They eat eggs, they eat plankton, they eat a number of things that native fish need to survive. On top of that, they rapidly multiply, easily out-reproducing other species.

“And we’re just very concerned that if they were to get into the Great Lakes that they could damage the ecosystem and potentially decimate the native population of fish and all the economic benefits and other environmental benefits provided by those native fish populations,” says Matt Doss with the Great Lakes Commission.

The group collaborates with other organizations and states to secure and protect the Great Lakes.

Not here yet
It is important to note that Asian carp has not been found breeding in the Great Lakes yet. So the commission’s main tactic in the fight against Asian carp is to defend all pathways to the Great Lakes.

“By far the biggest and highest risk pathway for carp getting into the Great Lakes is the Chicago-area waterway system and this is an artificial connection between the Mississippi River watershed and the Great Lakes,” Doss says.

If the Asian carp can infiltrate Lake Michigan through this waterway system, then Doss says it is very likely the invasive species will spread to all the Great Lakes, including Lake Erie.

That's why Doss says it is vital to come up with a long-term solution to protecting the border. The plan is to use hydrologic separation.

“That is to permanently stop the free flow of water between the two watersheds to provide a permanent separation between those watersheds to keep these carp from getting into the Great Lakes,” Doss says.

But the plan is controversial. The Chicago-area depends on the waterway system for services, including water treatment. Doss says the commission has found a way to cut off the waterway without drastically impacting those services.

A danger to humans
Dozens of Asian carp can fly out of the water and smack into a boat when it passes through. Boat motors easily startle the fish.

Doss says jumpy fish is not just a nuisance but a serious safety concern. The fish weighing 20 to 40 pounds and can catapult out of the water.

“So you so this footage of just hundreds and hundreds of fish rapidly and violently jumping out of the water and in parts of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, " Doss says. "This is so common they jump into boats. They hit boaters who are moving down the waterway.”

There are reports that flying Asian carp have caused black eyes and broken jaws.

As of now, the Great Lakes Commission and several other public and private entities, including the state of Ohio, are continually evaluating to determine the best way to protect waterways from this invasive fish.

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Local club works to bring back the once-prevalent American elm
I would love to help! Where would I get some of the new Strain so I could plant them?

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri sworn into office and hopes to look for 'middle ground' with colleagues
Welcome back to the Statehouse, John. You are a terrific representative in the truest sense always representing the people's voice in teh district you serve. ...

Lawmakers call for indefinite freeze on Green Energy standards
It's a shame the Hudson Rep. Chooses to mimic the words of the extreme right senator on his way out to join ALEC when we know the Pope was just here because of...

Youngstown Schools file suit against the Ohio Department of Education to stop the implementation of an academic distress commission
Voters should ask WHY this plan was rushed into law under the cover of darkness. What clues point to the beneficiaries of this plan? Both Patrick O'Donnell of...

Great Lakes conference considers a range of threats
Your article states "Studies discovered over half of all PAHs found in the Great Lakes region come from a single source: Coal tar sealants.". I'm curious to whi...

ODOT awards Kent-based Davey Research Group nearly $50,000 to improve highway landscapes
This is an outrageous waste of taxpayer's money. Good for only Davey Tree and their cronies in the State government. It takes $50k to figure out the way to save...

Canton: another Northeast Ohio city is planning its comeback
Historic Ridgewood and the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority have no seats at the table. Very flawed right out of the gate. Ridgewood pays a huge percentage...

Property owners oppose a wind farm in Northern Ohio
Here is a link, exposing the connivance of the fossil fuel industry, in trying to prevent us from moving away from their outdated, filthy, and expensive forms o...

A new industry in Ohio aims to repurpose river sediment
and where do those PCB's end up??the story never says

A safe space: How Northeast Ohio colleges try to fight sexual assault
Very good and thorough job on a very sensitive topic!

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University