Asian carp may now be in Great Lakes

Word late last week that Asian carp may already be in the Great Lakes must be viewed as unqualified bad news, assuming, of course, that it is true.

A report released Thursday by the University of Notre Dame, the Nature Conservancy and Central Michigan University, suggests that some of the fish may be in the Great Lakes now, despite significant efforts to keep them out.

The fish are considered an invasive species. Voracious eaters, the carp escaped from ponds in the deep south decades ago and tend to take over any habitat they find themselves in. Officials worry they could out-compete prized sports species in the Great Lakes.

The group, which worked about two years on the report, relied on water samples that contained Asian carp DNA.

Other experts have maintained that the carp DNA may have come from so-called alternative sources such as droppings from birds which feed on carp in rivers to the south.

The group, with other scientists, pledge to continue studying the problem, work we’ll watch with interest.

We encourage continued vigilance in this area. With a $7 billion value, everything that can be done should be done to preserve the Great Lakes fishery.