Invasive species in Great Lakes partially blamed on anglers
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Inadequate regulation of the bait fish trade and carelessness on the part of anglers may be allowing invasive species — including widely feared Asian carp — to reach the Great Lakes and inland waterways, according to a scientific paper released on Thursday.
Researchers with Central Michigan University and the University of Notre Dame said they tested water samples from tanks containing small fish for sale as bait at more than 500 shops across the eight states on the lakes and found that 27 tested positive for invasive species' DNA. Positive hits for silver carp, one of the Asian varieties threatening to reach the Great Lakes, were recorded in three water samples from shops along the Lake Erie shore in Ohio.
The team detected genetic material from round goby, tubenose goby and Eurasian rudd, which are in the Great Lakes, although authorities hope to prevent them from reaching inland lakes and other waters. They found traces of goldfish, which are classified as an invasive foreign species despite being widely available for purchase at pet stores.
“While overall only a small percentage of bait shops had evidence of invasive species, it is nevertheless alarming that at least some invaders are being spread by anglers, the very group of people that value the Great Lakes fishery the most,” said Andrew Mahon, one of the paper's co-authors and a molecular ecologist at Central Michigan's Institute for Great Lakes Research. The report was being published in the journal Conservation Biology.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Defense chief says U.S. can fly over South China Sea
- Growth potential remains for online gambling
- Worries mount of unleashed ‘Taliban 5’
- Fossils point to relative of ‘Lucy’ species
- Morgan settles lawsuit with Wal-Mart over crash
- Nebraska lawmakers ban death penalty
- Charged Baltimore officers seek change of venue
- More rain worsens flooding in Texas
- FCC clears technology use to block robocalls
- IRS believes identity thieves are from Russia
- Lawyer argues in New York court that chimpanzees have same rights as humans