Asian carp grow quickly, are very aggressive and very adaptable fish that are outcompeting native fish species for food and habitat in much of the mid-part of the United States. Asian carp can grow to be over 100 pounds. They can eat up to 20% of their body weight each day. The Asian carp is becoming a huge problem in the United States. There is a chance that they could get into the great lakes and lower the population of some of the native species and possibly wipe some out. Asian carp are known to spread fast.
The Asian carp is a big problem in the U.S. because they have no natural predators. Since they have zero predators in the U.S. they can reproduce and feed as much as they want. So since they can feed and reproduce as much as they want they could over reproduce and they could eat all of one species which another might rely on to live causing two species of fish to be eliminated in that area. So far bighead carp have been found in the open waters of 23 states. Also silver carp have been found in 17 states.
Asian carp would be a huge problem in the great lakes because there is such a big area that they could spread into very quickly. Scientists have found that there are 22 rivers in the great lakes area that are suitable for Asian carp spawning. A live Asian bighead carp was found only six miles from Lake Michigan in Chicago. Asian carp represent over 97% of the biomass in parts of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers and are quickly spreading northward up the Illinois River in the area of the Great Lakes.
Asian carp have been known to spread quickly in the United States because they have no natural predators. Also they can travel up to fifteen kilometers a day. All of the four species of Asian carp that have established in the United States spread fast after introduction, became overly abundant, and hurt native fish either by damaging habitats or by consuming vast amounts of food. Common and grass carps destroy habitat and reduce water quality for native fish by uprooting or eating aquatic vegetation.
Asian carp are fast-growing, mean and adaptable fish. They are becoming a growing problem in the United States. They are on the break of invading the great lakes. They have been known to spread extremely fast. The Asian carp is a very dangerous species.
How big of a threat do you think Asian carp are?
What can you do to help stop the spread of Asian carp?
How could Asian carp affect your life?