A couple of fishers in Quebec reeled in a giant Asian Carp in the St. Lawrence River this week, and now biologists are extremely concerned.
This is the first time the species have been found in the area, and they’re highly invasive. Like, super invasive. Asian carp not only reproduce extremely quickly, they can eat up to 20 per cent of their body weight in plankton. Meaning they will out-multiply and out-eat almost all other fish in the waters they inhabit, destroying natural habits and nursing areas for other fish along the way. In fact, biologists say that if these carp can establish a breeding program in the St. Lawrence River, we may never be able to get rid of them.
That is, of course, unless this fish was an isolated catch.
The carp that was pulled out of the river is between 15 and 30 years old, which is potentially good news.
“[The carp] could perhaps have come from upstream, from the Great Lakes. They could have been dumped by someone who wanted to release a live one for whatever reason. They could have been released a long time ago in a bait-bucket dumping because very small juvenile Asian carp can look like minnows,” said McGill University biology professor Anthony Ricciardi.
So if this adult fish was added to the water on its own, we have nothing to worry about. Ricciardi, however, believes there are likely more lurking beneath the surface.
Asian carp have already caused major problems in parts of the U.S., and have also been detected in Lake Erie and water bodies near Toronto.
For more information about the invasive species, check out the video above.