• The OFAH Warns Great Lake Residents of Asian Carp

    On Wednesday evening, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) held an information session on the threat Asian carps pose to the Great Lakes. The OFAH admonished Niagara attendees to stay watchful and encouraged them to spread the message, acting on behalf of the Invading Species Program. The organization intends to host additional information sessions throughout December, during which time they will erect signs around the Great Lakes to help fishers, boats and observers identify and report Asian carp.

    So far, the Canadian government has recognized Asian carp as a problem and have banned their importation into the country. This, however, does not end the problem. These fish currently reside in Chicago River as well as in a body of water 89km from Lake Michigan. They have yet to travel any further North because of electric fences built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Unfortunately, these barriers will not keep the fish away permanently, a reason why the OFAH has begun speaking to citizens and communities of the Great Lakes.

    Asian carps are “voracious filter eaters” that consume 20% of their own weight daily in plankton (NWF). As large fish—some reach an excess of 100lbs—they disrupt the natural food chain, challenged by no other natural predator in fresh water habitats. For this reason, Asian carps are nearly impossible to remove from an ecosystem after migration. Even if doable, females lay 500,000 eggs per spawn, making the problem that much more widespread.

    Boaters and recreational water users should fear the presence of this invading species. The sound of boats frightens these large fish, causing them to leap as high as three metres from the water. Of course, this is a safety hazard, but it also complicates the ways local fisheries operate. With all things considered, the OFAH encourages Niagara Region citizens to keep an eye out for these hardheaded silver fish and report any sightings immediately.

    Asian Carp

    Image from the Invading Species Program (OFAH)

    Categories: Hot Topics in Niagara, Uncategorized

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