Dan O’Keefe of Michigan Sea Grant isn’t betting on it.
O’Keefe addressed the Michigan Charter Boat Association Saturday and said that while Asian carp are moving closer to Lake Michigan through the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal, they probably won’t be very comfortable if they make it into the lake.
There are four species of Asian carp — silver, bighead, black and grass carp.
Silver and bighead carp are filter feeders that eat algae. Black carp, which were introduced accidentally with grass carp, eat mollusks. Grass carp, as the name implies, feed primarily on rooted vegetation.
O’Keefe said a federal risk assessment by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife department found all four species were a high risk to spread to new areas and all had a moderate to high risk of negative consequences.
As to whether the species will enter the Great Lakes, it’s highly probable. Bighead carp have already been found in Lake Erie, but only three were found and no evidence of spawning has been found. Grass carp are already in all of the Great Lakes except Superior.
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