Results for POLL S943

Is the Wisconsin DNR doing a good job of managing wildlife and habitat?

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Asian Carp Control – WDNR doing a good job…???

Is Wisconsin doing enough to prevent Asian Carp from invading our waters?

State pursues additional testing after silver carp environmental DNA detected in Lower Fox River

Poll Pic S937MADISON — Continued surveillance to protect Wisconsin waters against invasive species has turned up a single positive environmental DNA, or eDNA, sample for silver carp in the Lower Fox River.

The sample, among hundreds taken statewide in recent months, does not necessarily signal the presence of live fish. To determine the source of the eDNA found in the river, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is collaborating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and has asked the federal agency for its help to collect additional samples from the Fox River in the next two weeks.

Asian carp pose significant ecological and economic threats to the Great Lakes region and its fishery because they eat voraciously and compete directly with valuable native fish for food.

“The tests for environmental DNA are extremely sensitive and can detect genetic material shed in mucus or excrement from fish as well as from birds that have eaten the fish elsewhere,” said Bob Wakeman, aquatic invasive species coordinator for DNR. “Bilge water from boats also can carry traces of the fish. While these genetic fingerprints are clear enough to help us identify specific invasive carp species, the eDNA testing program relies on multiple positive samples over time to indicate the likelihood of live fish.”

For example, more than 100 additional samples following a single positive detection for silver carp DNA in Sturgeon Bay in late 2013 did not turn up further evidence of the fish. In the latest case, the single positive sample from the Lower Fox River was among 200 samples collected from the river in June and July. The monitoring was part of a coordinated program that included drawing some 1,950 samples from tributaries to Lake Michigan during the summer months.

In addition to the federal eDNA monitoring, DNR fisheries team members conduct a variety of netting, electroshocking and trawling operations in state waters as part of the ongoing monitoring effort. To date, these efforts have not captured any Asian carp in any waters of the Lower Fox River, Green Bay or Lake Michigan.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service appreciates Wisconsin’s commitment to our shared fight against these invaders,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Regional Director Charlie Wooley. “At the state’s request, we are providing all the resources and technical expertise we have available as part of a multistate effort to prevent the establishment of self-sustaining populations of Asian carp in the Great Lakes.”

Asian carp species including bighead and silver carp were introduced into the southern United States in the 1970s and eDNA has been found upstream of the electric dispersal barriers in Lake Calumet, seven miles from Lake Michigan on the Indiana-Illinois border as well as in Lake Erie. DNR encourages anglers and others to review Asian carp identification materials, to report any sightings of Asian carp and to make sure that bait buckets don’t inadvertently contain the fish because young Asian carp resemble popular bait species. Photo identification tools and more information on Asian carp can be found on DNR’s website, by searching Asian carp.

More information on eDNA is available from the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee. Results of eDNA monitoring from the Midwest region are posted here.

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