BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Local wild life experts are bracing for an Asian Carpinvasion.
So what could this mean?
What it could do is jeopardize the habitat for the bass andwalleye in Lake Erie, and bring different kind of fish that jumpright into the boat.
Tom Marks runs a Charter Boat fishing business and took News 4out for a few casts on Lake Erie. He fears the day that Asian Carpever make to this end of the Great Lakes.
"You'll laugh. It's funny when you first see it, you see thesecarp jumping in the boat hitting people," Marks said.
Asian Carp were accidentally introduced to the Mississippi Riverbasin and have thrived ever since.
Marks said, "They're a large, fast growing fish, and they eat40% of their body weight a day and they grow up to 100 pounds."
The problem is you can't catch them because they only eatplankton, a lot of it, leaving less of it for the young sport fishlike walleye, and small-mouth bass, which are big business on LakeErie.
There is a delicate balance here in Lake Erie, and a lot ofpeople were concerned when the gobby fish and the zebra musselfirst came in. But their effects have not been all bad. With thisAsian Carp, it could be much different.
"They certainly have the potential to disrupt the wholeecosystem in a very profound, very basic level," said MarkClapsadl, SUNYCAB Great Lakes Center.
Researchers at Buffalo State College's Great Lakes Center arewatching from afar as the US Department of Fish and Wildlifeoperates an electronic barrier in a ship canal near Chicago, tokeep the Asian Carp from swimming from the Mississippi waters tothe Great Lakes
Marks says some of the carp have already slipped in to LakeMichigan.
"They never really engineered what the ecological barrier wouldbe," Marks explained.
Clapsadl said, "Right now, it's a very big question mark. Wedon't know what will happen or when."
"This is our legacy is what we do to the great lakes," Markssaid.
The DEC is urging federal officials to do what they can at theother end of the Great Lakes to keep them out.
Just last month Senator Chuck Schumer called for a federal studyabout what the economic impact could be.
Watch video to see news 4's George Richert answer some questionsabout the Asian Carp.
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