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UT to participate in multi-agency action targeting grass carp in Sandusky River

A team from The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center will participate in a multi-agency project this week to assess the ability to target and capture grass carp, a type of invasive Asian carp reproducing in the Sandusky River, a Great Lakes tributary that flows into Lake Erie.

Crews will use electrofishing boats and a variety of nets during the two-day sampling expedition, which is led by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

In 2015, UT graduate student Holly Embke collected eight grass carp eggs in the Sandusky River, which flows into Lake Erie.

The UT crew includes Nicole King, aquatic ecology research technician working with faculty at the Lake Erie Center and UT Department of Environmental Sciences.

In addition to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and UT, participating agencies include the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Geological Survey and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

This action will occur in conjunction with aquatic invasive species sampling in Lake Erie’s Sandusky Bay by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The goal of the project is to work with cooperating agencies to develop best practices to capture grass carp. It is in preparation for a large-scale, planned response in 2018.

A UT graduate student was the first researcher to find direct proof of grass carp spawning in a Great Lakes tributary. Holly Embke collected grass carp eggs in summer 2015 in the Sandusky River between Fremont, Ohio, and Lake Erie’s Sandusky Bay after a period of heavy rains.