Asian Carp Invasion

Eddie Rufus, Writer

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Seven species of Asian carp have invaded into the united states waters in the recent decade, but there are four in particular- big head, black, grass, and silver, that worry ecologist, biologist and fishermen. Introduced to the southeast to help control weeds and parasites in the aquaculture operations, these fish soon spread through the Mississippi River system where they have been crowding out native fish populations. These fish are not used to competing with such aggressive invaders. Asian carp lay hundreds of thousands of eggs at a time and spread into a new habitat quickly and easily, they can jump over barriers such as low dams. Also flooding has helped the fish expand into previously unattainable bodies of water and with fisherman using young carp as live bait this has also facilitated  the fishes spread. Friends and neighbors of the great lake are concerned about the impact the Asian carp could have on the region’s 7 billion dollar a year fishing industry. Asian carp are expected to spread throughout other parts of the US through river systems that connect up with the Mississippi River, in the meantime state and federal agencies are monitoring the Mississippi and its tributaries for Asian carp and testing out various barrier technologies to prevent their further spread.