Asian Carps
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U.S. Asian Carp Control Strategy

Four electrofishing boats


Management options to prevent introduction generally can be categorized as prevention actions and development of deterrence technology. Investment in preventative measures will reduce the number of bigheaded carps that could enter the Great Lakes, thereby assisting long-term efforts by reducing the cumulative damage to the Great Lakes. The table below categorizes the prevention and prevention technology management options being examined. 


General Management Categories Specific Actions
Risk Assessment
  • Identify potential pathways for bigheaded carps to enter Great Lakes (rivers, streams, live fish trade, release)
  • Identify and/or assess likelihood of species introduction via pathways
  • Reduce Asian carp abundance/distribution/movement in pathways (e.g. bait trade, tributaries, human-mediated transport/shipping)
  • Enforce transportation/possession regulations
Development of prevention technology
  • Implement barrier safety and operations testing, defence against geographic spread


Management options to prevent establishment of bigheaded carps in the Great Lakes can be categorized generally as monitoring actions and development of monitoring technology that allows managers to rapidly detect early arrivals to these water systems. These critical actions allow management to delineate the current distribution of bigheaded carps in nearby watersheds and determine where removal and other preventative measures should occur. This also helps prevent movement toward the Great Lakes and would help with rapid removal of any individuals already within the Great Lakes. The table below categorizes the monitoring and monitoring technology management options being examined. 


General Management Categories Specific Actions
Risk Assessment
  • Great Lakes Habitat Sustainability modeling
Development of monitoring technology
  • eDNA refinement
  • Development of new detection methodology
Monitoring for early detection
  • Electrofishing
  • Telemetry: used to assess effectiveness of electric barriers by monitoring movement of fish in the immediate vicinity of the barriers
  • eDNA
  • Rotenone application: A non-selective pesticide used to eradicate fish populations
  • Other species removal efforts


View of being on an electrofishing boat

It is necessary to investigate long-term control methodologies that can effectively eliminate Asian carp species or prevent their movement while minimizing damage to native species ecology. Development of these methodologies requires investigation and/or laboratory development and testing before deployment in the field. However, species-specific and permanent control tools are often necessary for successful long-term control of source populations.