No additional Asian carp found near Point Pelee after capture last week

The Asian carp captured in Lake Erie last week appears to be a loner, bringing a measure of relief to fisheries officials battling the invasion of the species into the Great Lakes.
The Ministry of Natural Resources confirms to CBC News that a grass carp, similar to this one caught in Toronto, was caught in Leamington last week. (Toronto and Region Conservation)

The Asian carp captured in Lake Erie last week appears to be a loner.

Officials with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry previously confirmed that the invasive fish — known as a grass carp — had been caught near Point Pelee a week ago.

On Thursday, a ministry spokesperson told CBC News that from what they can tell, there are no additional such carp in the area.

The ministry "performed surveillance activities including gill netting and electrofishing in the area of the grass carp capture to determine if additional grass carp were in the area," a spokesperson said in an email. "In addition, DFO performed trap netting, trammel netting, and electrofishing in the area."

The ministry said no further grass carp were found.

Asian carp is a catchall name for species of silver, bighead, grass and black carp from Southeast Asia. The fish typically weigh two to four kilograms, but can weigh up to 40 kilograms.

The one caught near Point Pelee on Sept. 17 weighed 10.6 kilograms, according to the ministry.

Threat to fish stocks

Fisheries officials in Canada and the United States have undertaken a massive effort, involving tens of millions of dollars, to stem the spread of the ravenous, invasive species into the Great Lakes.

Bighead and silver carp are largely considered to be the worst part of the risk, as they eat huge amounts of plankton, which is the foundation of aquatic food chains.

They have infested much of the Mississippi River basin and are threatening to gain a foothold in the Great Lakes through rivers and canals.

If that happens, species native to Canada could be wiped out, decimating a $7-billion fishing industry. 


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