Study explores Asian carp effects on Lake Erie

Asian Carp Great Lakes
Asian carp, jolted by an electric current from a research boat, jumping from the Illinois River near Havana, Ill. Canadian scientists say a small number of Asian carp might be enough to establish a population in the Great Lakes, where they would pose serious threats to other fish and the region’s economy. (AP Photo/John Flesher)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A newly released scientific paper says if Asian carp become established in Lake Erie, it wouldn’t necessarily doom valuable native species such as walleye and yellow perch.

The report was published this week by the journal Conservation Biology. Lead author Marion Wittmann of the University of Notre Dame says the study was based on consultations with Great Lakes experts and fishery biologists.

They concluded that bighead and silver carp eventually could have an even bigger presence in the lake than perch and walleye. That could lead to a decrease in the walleye population. On the other hand, the number of walleye could increase if they end up feeding on Asian carp larvae.

Scientists say the study underscores the uncertainty of what an Asian carp invasion would mean for the lake.

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