LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An invasive grass carp capable of reproducing has been discovered in a Lake Huron tributary, Michigan officials said Friday.
The state Department of Natural Resources said the fish was found March 17 during a routine survey of the Tittabawassee River below the Dow Dam in Midland County. The river flows into Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay.
The DNR says it’s the first documented capture from the lake of a grass carp that was diploid, or able to produce offspring.
Crews used electrofishing boats to search the area but found no other grass carp.
The department says it and partner agencies will conduct more surveys when this year’s field season resumes. It was halted because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The carp’s ear bones will be analyzed to determine if it originally came from the Great Lakes or a fish farm.
Grass carp have been prohibited in Michigan for nearly 50 years. Thirteen have been found in Lake Huron and its tributaries since 1989. All were sterile.
Grass carp are among four Asian species that scientists say could do environmental damage if they become established in the Great Lakes. Grass carp eat large quantities of aquatic vegetation that provide habitat for fish and waterfowl.
Watch Great Lakes Now‘s monthly show on segment on the four types of Asian carp threatening the Great Lakes here:
Featured image: One of the ways the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is fighting the Asian carp invasion into the Great Lakes is by catching them.