I’ve partnered with the Invasive Species Centre to help spread awareness about Grass Carp, an invasive species that is an immediate threat to our Great Lakes. As anglers and stewards of our waters, it’s our responsibility to be educated on aquatic invaders, including being able to correctly identify, and know what to do if we suspect we’ve caught or spotted one.
Learn more at: www.asiancarp.ca.
DID YOU KNOW?
• Grass Carp is one of the FOUR species of Asian carps that threaten our Great Lakes – the others are Bighead, Black, and Silver carps.
• Grass Carp is the most immediate threat to our Great Lakes.
• Evidence of Grass Carp reproduction was recently found in the Sandusky and Maumee rivers, two US tributaries of the western basin of Lake Erie. The good news is that there’s no evidence of an established population in Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.
• Grass Carp are gluttons! They can eat up to 40% of their body weight in aquatic plants DAILY! They only digest about half of what they consume and expel the remaining material – which pollutes the water, reduces water clarity, and can cause algal blooms.
• All that eating takes away food, shelter, and spawning habitat from native species, like northern pike, muskellunge, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and walleye.
• Grass Carp is MASSIVE, reaching 5 feet long and over 90 pounds! Native predators don’t have mouths big enough to eat them!
• Canada and the US are hard at work preventing a Grass Carp invasion in the Great Lakes. Fisheries and Oceans Canada monitors ~36 high-risk spots throughout the Great Lakes and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) checks water samples for Asian carp eDNA.
Ruling Out Common Look-A-Likes
There are a few species that are often mistaken for Grass Carp. As anglers it’s our responsibility to be able to correctly identify fish, especially when it comes to aquatic invaders. How are your fish ID skills?
The first step in identifying Grass Carp is ruling out any common look-a-likes. Flip through these images below to see a few of the species that are often confused with Grass Carp.
How To Report a Suspected Capture or Sighting
Do you know what you do if you think you’ve captured a Grass Carp? This new factsheet outlines the steps to follow and will teach you how to identify Grass Carp from common look-a-likes!
Help spread the word and let’s keep our fisheries healthy!