Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Invasive Species

More than 180 aquatic nuisance species now exist in the Great Lakes. Enhanced prevention and control efforts are critical to halting new invasive (non-native) aquatic, wetland, and terrestrial species from becoming established in the Great Lakes. By rapidly reproducing and spreading, invasive species can degrade habitat, harm native species and alter food webs. Prevention is the most cost-effective approach to dealing with organisms that have not yet arrived and could potentially threaten the Great Lakes. Once invasive species establish a foothold, they are virtually impossible to eradicate; however, invasive species still need to be controlled to maintain the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. The GLRI is supporting efforts to prevent and control invasive species. As a part of this effort, the USGS is working with others to help prevent and/or control invasive carp, Phragmites australis (common reed), Zebra and Quagga mussels.

USGS Science and Technology Help Managers Battle Invading Asian Carp

Filter Total Items: 17
Date published: March 8, 2021
Status: Active

Developing a Pre-Event Planning Tool for Modified Unified Method Fishing Events (Web Application)

The USGS is adapting the Chinese Unified Method, a fishing harvest method that uses herding techniques and a variety of nets to drive fish and concentrate them into a concentrated area for capture, in the fight against invasive Asian carps. This “Modified Unified Method” incorporates adapted techniques and modern technology for efficient, mass removal of bigheaded carp in North American waters...

Date published: March 26, 2020
Status: Active

Invasive Phragmites Science: Management Tools for the Control of Invasive Phragmites to Foster the Restoration of the Great Lakes

The USGS is developing innovative Phragmites control measures to keep this rapidly spreading invasive plant from further expanding its range into new wetland habitats and to aid in the development of successful restoration strategies. Scientists are conducting studies and field tests to determine if fungi that live within the Phragmites are enabling the plant to take over...

Date published: March 26, 2020
Status: Active

Invasive Phragmites Science: Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative

Addressing a large-scale regional issue such as controlling a persistent invasive plant like Phragmites requires broad cross-sector coordination. Little progress is made and cost efficiencies are reduced when each entity works independently.  The highly successful Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative builds collaboration and facilitates communication on a regional level with a common...

Date published: March 25, 2020
Status: Active

Foundations for Future Restoration Actions: Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative - Lake Ontario, 2018

Environmental organizations from the United States and Canada have teamed up each year, as part of the Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) program, to assess conditions in one of the five Great Lakes. . Each year, the survey focuses on a series of research areas, such as phosphorus and nitrogen input and movement through the food web, phytoplankton and zooplankton populations...

Contacts: Brian Lantry, James Watkins, Christopher M. Pennuto, Jacques Rinchard, Ph.D.
Date published: January 17, 2020
Status: Active

Carbon Dioxide for General Aquatic Invasive Species Control

Invasive Carp Control: Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is being evaluated as a new fishery chemical for general aquatic invasive species control. Most research has focused on its effectiveness as a behavioral...

Date published: November 22, 2019
Status: Active

Asian Carp Integrated Control and Containment: Brandon Road Lock and Dam

Increased threat of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes and spreading to other basins such as the Upper Mississippi River and Ohio River basins, has led to increased prevention and control efforts since 2010. Successful management of this invasive species requires methods to contain future spread, reduce population levels, and minimize their effects. In collaboration with partners, USGS...

Date published: November 19, 2019
Status: Active

Asian Carp Risk Assessment and Life History: Assessment of Hydraulic and Water-Quality Influences on Waterways to Develop Control Options

USGS scientists monitored the distribution of the Asian carp populations within the pools of the Illinois River to help identify favorable habitats. Sharp contrasts in habitat, flow conditions, water quality, and food supply between the Marseilles and Dresden Island Pools and the Chicago Area Waterway System may be acting as controlling factors to the stalled upstream movement of Asian carp...

Date published: November 18, 2019
Status: Active

Asian Carp Integrated Control and Containment: Development of Carbon Dioxide as A Control Tool for Invasive Asian Carp Control

The objective of this project is to develop carbon dioxide (CO2) as a new tool for controlling Asian carp migration. More specifically, navigational structures are potential management pinch-points to block the spread of Asian carps within major rivers throughout the United States. Carbon dioxide has shown promise as a behavioral deterrent for Asian carps and could be a useful non-physical...

Contacts: Aaron Cupp
Date published: November 7, 2019
Status: Active

Asian Carp Integrated Control and Containment: Acoustic Deterrents for Asian Carp

The long-term goal of this project is to develop acoustic deterrents to prevent the upstream migration of Asian carp to the Great Lakes.

Date published: November 7, 2019
Status: Active

Invasive Mussel Control Science: Dreissenid Mussel Growth in Lake Ontario

USGS scientists worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to monitor growth of invasive zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in Lake Ontario with the goal of improving understanding on the effects these mussels have on the Lake food web.

Contacts: Brian C Weidel
Date published: October 28, 2019
Status: Active

Asian Carp Integrated Control and Containment: Development of Monitoring and Response Methodologies, and Implementation of an Adaptive Management Framework to Work Towards Eradication of Grass Carp in Lake Erie

The US Geological Survey is studying life history and habitats of invasive Grass Carp with a goal of developing strategies and tactics to greatly reduce or possibly eradicate Grass Carp from Lake Erie.

Date published: January 11, 2018
Status: Active

Development of Chemical Tools to Control Invasive Carp and Dreissenid Mussels

Over 180 and 140 aquatic invasive species (AIS) have been introduced into the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi River basins, respectively, with threats of new invasions always on the horizon. Sea lamprey, zebra mussels, and invasive carps are just a few examples of AIS whose abilities to alter aquatic habitats and disrupt food cycles threaten many outdoor recreation opportunities and...

Contacts: Mark Gaikowski