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Great Lakes Article:

Asian Carp may harm Lake Erie ecosystem
Vic Gideon
10/17/2002

CLEVELAND -- A fish that could take over the Great Lakes is heading up the Mississippi River and is now just 25 miles from Lake Michigan.

Asian Carp are flying fish which eat everything in their path, consuming about 40 times their body weight.

By filtering or injesting everything they touch, they could eat all the smaller species in the lake and starve the others.

"The Asian Carp are so good and so fast at comsuming these materials, that basically what they do is push out the other species," said Joe Keiper of the Natural History Museum.

That means not just the ecosystem but the economy is hurt when the Great Lakes don't have any more bass, walleye, perch, and trout.

Asian Carp are big, slippery, and hard to handle. They can be about four feet long and 150 pounds.

The carp were raised for food in ponds in the south but flooding swept them into the Mississippi River and they headed northward at a rate of 50 miles a year.

An electric barrier has been installed at the mouth of Lake Michigan, but that may not be enough, which means Lake Erie won't stay the same.

The Great Lakes Commission held their annual meeting in Cleveland this week. They're asking the federal government for money to put up additional barriers to protect the Great Lakes from the carp.

© 2002 WKYC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
This information is posted for nonprofit educational purposes, in accordance with U.S. Code Title 17, Chapter 1,Sec. 107 copyright laws.

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