Invasive Asian Carp found in St. Lawrence can drastically alter local habitat
Published Wednesday, March 1, 2017 8:33AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 1, 2017 4:03PM EST
Quebec officials have confirmed that Asian Carp have arrived in the St. Lawrence River.
At least four types of the invasive species of fish have been gradually making their way up the Mississippi river and through the Great Lakes for several years.
Last summer a 29 kg Asian Carp was caught in the Lanaudiere, and DNA tests have confirmed that other members of the species were found at 16 spots, from southwestern Quebec to Lake St. Pierre near Trois Rivieres.
The fish were also found in multiple streams and rivers that feed the St. Lawrence.
Asian Carp, especially the Grass Carp, are an invasive species that can drastically alter local habitat by eating up to 20 per cent of their weight in vegetation and plankton each day.
That starves native fish, and has already led to native fish dying off and being replaced in the Mississippi river.
Quebec's Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks is spending $1.7 million over three years to attempt to stop the fish, including by putting up nets and educating fishermen.