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Invasive Grass Carp and Impacts to Great Lakes

Non-native Grass Carp, introduced to U.S. ponds and lakes by federal and state agencies in the early 1960s, were considered a low cost, nonchemical alternative for aquatic weed control. Despite the common use of sterile Grass Carp as a biological control agent, scientists remain uncertain about the ecological risk the carp pose to North American freshwater ecosystems, including the Great Lakes.

New research sponsored by NCCOS at the University of Notre Dame quantifies the potential ecological impact Grass Carp could have on the Great Lakes. The study shows that reproducing Grass Carp occur in multiple Great Lakes waterways, suitable climate occurs for Grass Carp survival in all of the Great Lakes watersheds, and Grass Carp can have adverse effects on water quality, plants, and animals in the Great Lakes.

The research is published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

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