Asian Carp detection falls short

Bighead Carp - Illustration by Joe Tomelleri

Asian carps are invasive species brought from Asia to North America in the 1960s and 1970s. They have migrated north through the US waterways towards the  great lakes. The high rate of reproduction of these carps is problematic for native species because they compete for their food supply. Since realizing the impact of the Asian carps, Ontario has enforced regulations to fight these invasive species such as monitoring and early detection.

However, recent studies show that the monitoring methods used currently are not as accurate and efficient as one would hope. Scientists analyze the waters for eDNA to test for carp presence. However, it’s been found that current methods only detect approximately 5% of carp DNA, while newly developed methods detect 95% of carp DNA.

It is imperative that we do extensive testing on these new methods and implement them immediately, as Asian carp are a threat to native fish and human safety.

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