Asian carp captured in the basin of Chambly

Carpe asiatique capturée dans le bassin Chambly

The making of an asian carp invasive in the Chambly basin has sparked a pandemonium in the ministry of Forests, Fauna and Parks of Quebec recently.

On the 16th of July last, a sport fisherman out of the water a carp, which is one of four species of carp are invasive from Asia that take the place of native fish in North America. Alerted by this capture, the ministry has dispatched staff, because this event has been deemed “high priority”.

“No other carp have been captured after three days of searching, and it is unlikely that an important population is in the area,” said the ministry in statement on Tuesday.

In addition to fishing, with specific techniques for grass carp, samples were collected to find eggs or larvae of this fish in the basin of Chambly. The water has also been analyzed to see if traces of DNA of the grass carp were present.

Because of the “recurrence detection of environmental DNA of grass carp in this river and the presence of habitats favorable to its reproduction and its food”, the ministry plans to increase monitoring in this sector, notably upstream of the dam at Chambly.

The carp captured could come from “the Great Lakes where the species is already established, the Saint-Lawrence river, where an individual was captured in 2016, or even the watershed of lake Champlain, which is connected with the river Richelieu”, stressed the authorities.

They worry about his presence for the survival of the copper redhorse, a fish threatened breeds in the rapids of Chambly.

The asian carp are considered a threat to commercial and sport fishing, as well as a risk to public health and water quality.

Thanks to its very fast growth, these animals can reach up to a meter long and weigh less than 50 kilos.

These fish reproduce rapidly outcompete the other species where it is found at the point of representing more than 80 % of the biomass (all the organic matter of vegetable or animal origin) in some areas.

The asian carp is also accused of favouring the introduction of new diseases likely to infect other fish through the parasites that his body hosts.

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