Latest Test of Sandusky Bay Waters Shows Increase of Asian Carp DNA

Officials Fear the Rise in DNA May Mean the Invasive Species has Entered Lake Erie

On Friday, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources reported that Asian carp DNA had been detected in 20 of 150 water samples taken on July 30 and 31. The discovery of additional Asian carp DNA in the water samples now has state and federal wildlife officials stepping up their efforts to see if the invasive fish has made its way into Lake Erie.

In previous tests, just four of 325 water samples in Sandusky Bay and two of 92 samples from Maumee Bay tested positive for Asian carp DNA. In August, state and federal officials swept the area over the course of three days but did not find any actual Asian carp.

The plan now is to do more electro-fishing and netting to see what turns up. They won't know for sure if the fish have invaded Lake Erie until they find a live fish.

If a breeding carp were to be found, it would be a large threat to Lake Erie's $1 billion annual fishing industry, as well as its $10 billion-a-year tourism industry.

Asian carp out-compete native fish for food. The fish escaped fish farms during major flooding in 1993, and now dominate several stretches of the Mississippi River and the Illinois River.