Vectors for Invasive Species in the Great Lakes

Authors: Christopher Black*, University of Toledo, Carol Stepien, University of Washington, Kevin Czajkowski, University of Toledo, Matthew Snyder, University of Toledo, Nate Marshall, University of Toledo
Topics: Environmental Science, Economic Geography, Marine and Coastal Resources
Keywords: Invasive Species, Great lakes, SIlver Carp, Midwest,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Cleveland 1, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The western basin of Lake Erie is a fishing and tourist destination in the Midwest. Many businesses along the shores of Lake Erie are dependent on tourism and fishing. Any impacts that change the number of people that venture to this region can and does have serious economic implications. These industries could be in jeopardy if non-native fish get into Lake Erie and populate.
There are several invasive species that are of concern to user groups in the Great Lakes. They include the Bighead Carp, Grass Carp, Snakehead, and Silver Carp. Collectively these species are called “Asian Carp”. The purpose of this study is to look at the use of bait as a vector in the introduction of Invasive Species into the Great Lakes.
The objectives of this project were to survey and test water samples of sports fishing stakeholders to see if invasive species were present. The Lake Erie watershed and Lake Michigan served as the study area for the collection of bait samples, and surveys of various stakeholders.
Bait water was collected, sampled, spun down in a centrifuge, and samples eDNA tested to see what species of invasive fish were present in the water samples. The results based on stakeholder responses were then statistically processed using various descriptive statistical measures and advanced spatial analysis techniques. The results seem to indicate that there is a high correlation between species present in the Great Lakes waters based on stakeholder responses and observations.

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