Less than 20 Asian carp could do permanent damage to the Great Lakes ecosystem, a new report by Fisheries and Oceans Canada finds.
The Asian carp is known for its voracious appetite and ability to jump high out of the water.According to the Buffalo News, the report states that the invasive species would likely be able to spawn in all five Great Lakes. The fish could gain access to Lake Michigan through the Chicago waterway system, and would spread to Lakes Erie and Huron within a decade.
It would take fewer than 10 pairs of male and female Asian Carp to establish a fast-growing population, and they would soon become the dominant species in the lakes. Although there are concerns as to how this would impact the species already living in the lakes, the findings in this area remain inconclusive.
In response to the report, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand reaffirmed her commitment to keeping the Asian carp from reaching New York waters. Environmental advocates argue for a barrier between the Chicago waterway system and Lake Michigan. This suggestion has met opposition from Chicago businesses for being too expensive.
Last week, officials discovered genetic material from Asian carp in year-old Lake Erie water samples, but no carp were found.