By Howard Meyerson
Grand Rapids, MI – A new study published in the Journal of Conservation Biology reports the combined conclusions of a panel of U.S. and Canadian fisheries experts that bighead and silver carp would have little negative effect on Lake Erie perch and walleye populations if they got into Lake Erie and became established.
The study authors say it is also possible that the presence of Asian carp could boost perch and walleye populations.
“One reason yellow perch populations might increase is they might use the bighead and silver carp as a food resource when they (the carp) are still small,” reports Marion Wittmann, the study’s lead author and post-doctoral researcher at the University of Notre Dame “Some experts say they would eat the carp eggs and fry.
“Walleyes might also feed on them if the carp are in the same place at the same time – and you have big enough walleyes and small enough carp – but the chance of that overlap is pretty small.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative-funded study aggregated the opinions of 11 scientists, all fisheries or aquatic ecology experts. They are affiliated with institutions like the U.S. Geological Survey, Purdue University, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, University of Guelph, University of Toronto and Committee of Advisors for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, among others. Continue reading