LONDON, Ontario, Nov. 25 (UPI) — Canadian environmental officials are concerned invasive Asian carp could be poised to reach the Great Lakes because control measures don’t seem to be working.
Ontario’s provincial Environment Minister Donna Cansfield said reports that an electronic screen in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal aren’t blocking the carp migration is worrisome, the London (Ontario) Free Press reported.
Cansfield said a plan is being developed to poison parts of the canal to prevent the fish from spreading into Lake Michigan and eventually reaching Lakes Erie and Ontario.
University of Western Ontario biology Professor Bryan Neff said the voracious and large fish are the second-biggest contributor to species extinctions in the world.
“It could cause the whole eco-system to collapse, or lead to a major shift,” he told the newspaper.
The bighead and silver species are native to northeastern China, he said.
The bighead carp can weigh as much as 90 pounds and measure more than 3 feet in length. Silver carp become agitated by motion, such as boat engines, and can leap as high as 10 feet in the air. There have been numerous incidents of boaters being injured by the flying carp in the United States, the newspaper said.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International