Asian Carp: The Invaders Essay

1245 words - 5 pages

In 1831, Asian carp were brought over as a delicacy. Asian carp are originally from Asia (Barbara A. Somervill 13). They were imported by catfish farmers in 1963 for federal research on controlling aquatic vegetation. In 1966, the first Asian carp had escaped into Arkansas waters. By 1970, grass carp we're being stocked in Arkansas waters to help with over vegetation. In 1972, big head carp were brought in the United States by a fish farmer in Arkansas to improve his water quality and fish production. In 1973, silver carp were introduced for phytoplankton control (Watershed Council 1). Over time, they were brought over for different reasons and made their way into many of the United States waters. The federal government had transported the invasive species to help the waters but, they did not realize the bad effects that the fish would have on the future environment. People need to find a way to stop them before it’s too late. Their rapid breeding has had a great toll on the environment and is still affecting it today. Over population can destroy the environment

and the millions of creatures around it. The spread of Asian carp could be fatal to our native fish species (Barbara A. Somervill 24).
The term "Asian carp" has been used to include the species that pose an immediate threat to the wildlife. While the Michigan Department of Natural Resources pose a significant threat to the biological community and recreational opportunities, in the Great Lakes region it is especially concerned with the bighead and silver carp. There are four types of carp known as bighead, black, silver and big head and silver carp can get up to one hundred pounds and grow up to five feet. Black carp can weigh up to one hundred fifty pounds (D’Arcy Egan 2). They're killing native fish by eating major amounts of plankton and breeding rapidly. Eating other fish’s eggs is affecting nature in a great way. By eating other eggs it is decreasing the population of natural species. Silver carp can leap out of the water and are a hazard to the humans around them (Barbara A. Somervill12). The silver carp use their gills to filter feed on algae. They also eat zooplankton. Big head carp eat blue-green algae, aquatic insects, decaying matter and fecal matter. Grass carp are sometimes called white amur. They eat vegetation and they don't have a true stomach. They can eat almost constantly. Black carp are the biggest Asian carp and they were the last species to arrive here. Young black carp eat zooplankton and insect larvae. The adult black carp eat mollusks (D’Arcy Egan 2).

In the early 90's there was very heavy flooding, this helped the spread of Asian carp occur rapidly. In 1994, black carp had escaped in Missouri. In 2000, Midwest states worried about the escape and damage the carp would have upon the Mississippi river and other bodies of waters connected. In 2002, scientist had discovered Asian carp were a huge threat to the ecosystem because they no longer had any natural...

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