What work does the USGS do related to Asian carp?
In areas where Asian carp are abundant, they have interfered with commercial and recreational fishing, caused reductions in zooplankton (animal plankton, an important food for many aquatic species), and harmed native fish communities. Bighead and silver carp have moved up the Illinois River and are now poised to enter the Great Lakes. Resource managers fear that Asian carp would have ecological impacts and negatively affect the $7 billion-a-year fishery in the Great Lakes. Early USGS research focused on understanding the distribution, abundance, and habitat use of these fish, along with collecting information on their biology and life history from around the globe. USGS researchers are currently examining aspects of risk to the Great Lakes from Asian carp in the Chicago Area Waterways System, as well as conducting studies to develop and test ways to reduce the abundance and distribution of Asian carp.