Asian Carps
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Asian Carp Response Plan 

The Plan

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), has developed an Asian Carp Response Plan under the Incident Command System (ICS) framework. This plan describes how DFO, MNRF, and their partners will respond if Asian carps are detected in the Great Lakes. As with any natural disaster or environmental emergency, a co-ordinated response effort is required when multiple responsible agencies are involved. These response efforts use the ICS framework to create a unified command structure (see figure below) across partner agencies that is scalable to the size and severity of the incident. Immediately following the verified capture of an Asian carp, an ICS structure is stood up and the response plan is implemented. Click on the roles below to learn more.


Example of a typical Incident Command System (ICS) structure for response efforts to the detection of an Asian carp. Not all boxes will be active at all times, and others may be added, depending on size and severity of incident.

The response plan describes different incident levels and their triggers (i.e. which species, how many, fertility) and the appropriate actions to be taken in each case. It outlines the command structure, including roles and responsibilities of those involved.  Emphasis is placed on safety, and on proper communication flow within the structure, between responding agencies, and with the public.

Photo of response actions undertaken in Toronto in 2015 by DFO, OMNRF, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority following the capture of three Grass Carp. (Photo Credit: Fisheries and Oceans Canada)


The Asian Carp Response Plan is intended to be a living document that evolves as the understanding of Asian carp biology, ecology, control and management improves. DFO and partners will continue training for response activities, both in-class and on the water, to refine our practices and integration, in preparation for real events.


Boat crews from DFO and MNRF participating in operational response activities (boat electrofishing) during a 2017 Asian carp response training exercise. (Photo Credit: Fisheries and Oceans Canada)