Source: The Weeders Digest at http://www.WeedersDigest.com 877-224-4899
Asian Flying Carp is a species of the freshwater fish and some of its varieties are the silver carp, the bighead carp, the grass carp and the black carp. Asian Carp is native to north and northeast parts of Asia. In addition to that, it is one of the most produced varieties of fish in aquaculture around the world. They are also cultivated mostly in China. They are usually found along with other major Asian carps in poly-culture. Lately, it has been spreading around the world and has reached to around 88 countries. The mode of travel is considered to the connected waterways. The most common reason for their importation is their use in aquaculture along with enhancing of the fisheries in the wild.
One of the qualities of the silver carp is that it is a filter feeder and can filter small particles. In the 1970s, due to their filtration ability, these fish were introduced into North America in order to check the growth of algae growth in various water treatment facilities and aquaculture. But soon after their importation, the flying Asian carp escaped from their captivity due to the flooding of the facilities and spread to other waters of America such as Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri rivers and their tributaries. The Asian Carp is also posing a serious threat to the Great Lakes because of various reasons such as size, large appetite and fecundity. The Asian variety of the Carp can grow up to four feet and can weigh up to hundred pounds. The cold weather of the Great Lakes also suites them as it is similar to their native habitat if the Eastern Hemisphere. They are having negative impact on the natural eco-system of the rivers as they have the ability to wipeout the native species by consuming the food in large quantity and thus, leaving no food for the native species. They act as bullies, pushing away the weaker native species along with being ravenous eaters. The population of the Asian carp grows exponentially as they can quickly multiply and result into huge number of off springs. Another disadvantage is that there has not been any predator reported that can feed on such a big fish as the Asian carp in the waters of the affected rivers and lakes.
The Asian Carp has made way up the Mississippi river in the Midwest region and has also spread to its tributaries. Now the flying carps are on the verge of entering the Great Lakes through the Chicago Canal System. Their abundance in the rivers is posing serious threat to the ecology and natural food web. States such as Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan are currently in line for what appears to be a direct hit. More information can be found at http://www.ForYourShore.com
They have become the most abundant species in these areas and are causing various hardships to the local fisherman. Another problem is the ability of the fish to jump high out of the water. This has also been causing some problems to the fishermen as these fish can hit a fisherman and stories have been heard when people have been hit by these fish on their head or knocked out on the boats. Some of the biologists have reported cases where they have been hit by these big carps. Some of the recreational fishing facilities are also being disturbed by the wild jumping of these fish as they can cause serious injuries to the humans. The Asian carp has a tendency to jump high when there are boats around.
In order to control the spreads of the Asian carp in the great lakes, some researchers have come up with the method of ecological separation which means that there is no transfer or movement of organisms between two different basins. In the case of the Asian carp, the two basins of Mississippi and Great Lakes’ are connected by man made lakes and efforts are being made to stop the transfer of the organisms between these two basins by any means. It will require investment in the infrastructure and good biological planning. It can also involve a creation of a barrier to stop the flow of the fish in the Great Lakes. Another method that is being taken into consideration is the setup of an electric barrier which can be effectively stop the transfer of the carp into the Great Lakes area. But the setting up of the electric barrier does not assure absence of all faults and does not ensure that there will be a total prevention of the fish in the Great Lakes. The electric barrier consists of setting up an electric field through water by passing current between the electrodes. This field is stronger at the center like a bell. The electric barrier is supposed to work by making the fish that enter the field uncomfortable to the point that they swim back. Public laws such as those prohibiting the transfer of Asian carp from one region to another. The Asian carp should also not be used as bait in other regions. Another way is to increase the market for the consumption of the Asian carp which can result in considerable decrease in its population. Therefore, other than the purpose they were introduced in the U.S. , there is no positive impact on the ecological systems of the rivers.
For more information about this invasion of these Flying Asian Carp, just visit The Weeders Digest at http://www.WeedersDigest.com 877-224-4899 or contact the United States Department of Agriculture at http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/aquatics/asiancarp.shtml.