Protecting the Great Lakes Through Invasive Species Research
Michigan State University researchers are working with state and federal fishery agencies to help remove invasive grass carp from Lake Erie in a bid to limit its spread to the other Great Lakes.
“Grass carp can grow to the size of a small child,” said Travis Brenden, a professor with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “They can get quite large and when they do, they don’t have any natural predators.”
An adult grass carp fish can grow to more than four feet in length and weigh up to 50 pounds. Each day the fish can eat 40% of their body weight in vegetation, devastating aquatic and terrestrial communities. Grass carp was first discovered in Lake Erie in the 1980s. MSU researchers have been working with the fishery agencies since 2014.
The first challenge in reducing population abundance is identifying where the fish are located. By tagging grass carp with an electronic transmitter, the researchers have turned the fish into a natural beacon revealing where other grass carp may be found.
Read the full story on MSU Today.