850 euclid Ave
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Two species of Asian Carp, the silver and the bighead, are of increasing concern for the Great Lakes ecosystems. Introduced in Arkansas and Mississippi in the 1970’s to control algae in sewage treatment plants and aquiculture, the carp have escaped in flood water to the Mississippi River Basin and are now threatening to flop over into the Great Lakes. In June of 2010 a 20-pound bighead carp was captured ABOVE Chicago’s electronic barrier and only 6 miles from Lake Michigan.
Growing up to 5 feet, weighing up to 100 lbs, and greedily eating plankton on which the prey of native species thrive, the Asian Carp have pushed our native species out of their habitat in many waterways. Are they able to reproduce and spread into the Great Lakes? “If they are successful at establishing breeding populations, the risk of adverse impacts to native fish increases,” says Roger Knight, Lake Erie Fisheries Program Administrator at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Sport fishing is a $7 billion industry for the Great Lakes, and Lake Erie brings in $10 billion of tourism revenue to Ohio. This is all at risk if the carp breach the waters of Lake Erie. “If Asian carps get here, we will still have perch and walleye, but their populations could be cut by more than 50%”, says Jeff Reutter, Director of Ohio Sea Grant (OSU).
“For Asian carps, Lake Erie’s western basin, west of Sandusky, Ohio, would serve as an oasis compared to the cold, plankton-free desert in most parts of the other Great Lakes. But it may take a little while before the invaders reach Lake Erie if they first enter through Lake Michigan,” says David Kelch, Ohio State Grant Extension Specialist.
Ray Petering, Executive Administrator of Fish Management and Research for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife and Acting Assistant Chief for the Division of Wildlife, will discuss important concerns about this real threat to Lake Erie. He has been Ohio’s lead administrator on this issue for several years and will discuss the threat to the Lake Erie ecosystem, the policy issues and the strategic options under review for addressing the problem. Parts of this summary are from Lake Erie Shorelines, Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring 2011, a quarterly newsletter for the Ohio Coastal Resources Management Project.

Tickets: $18 for members, $30 for non-members
Registration: www.cityclub.org

Added by The City Club of Cleveland on April 19, 2011