Asian Carp Doomsday Clock nears midnight after study suggests some of the invaders are in the Great Lakes

Some Asian carp are likely living in southern Lake Michigan and western Lake Erie, according to scientists at the University of Notre Dame. Researchers recently announced that they  found more Asian carp DNA in western Lake Erie and southern Lake Michigan. The study contradicted government claims that Asian carp DNA found in those lakes  likely came from bird feces or stormwater runoff from cities.

Scientists have yet to find a reproducing population of Asian carp anywhere in the Great Lakes. They have only found genetic traces of the fish in Lake Erie and Lake Michigan.Picture2

“The most plausible explanation is still that there are some carp out there,” Christopher Jerde of the University of Notre Dame, the lead author, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “We can be cautiously optimistic … that we’re not at the point where they’ll start reproducing, spreading further and doing serious damage.”

 

How will government agencies prevent Asian carp that are likely in Lake Erie and Lake Michigan from reproducing? And is it possible to keep massive populations of Asian carp that are bearing down on the Great Lakes via several rivers from invading the lakes? No one knows. (Check out this graphic see the Asian carp’s steady advance toward the Great Lakes)

I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but I fear the Notre Dame scientists are documenting the leading edge of the next Great Lakes disaster. For that reason, I’ve adjusted the Asian Carp Doomsday Clock to 11:59 — one minute before the witching hour of midnight. This clock strikes midnight if or when scientists find a reproducing population of Asian carp in any of the five Great Lakes. I hope and pray that that day never arrives, but I’m also a realist.

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