The primary way that Asian carp have negatively impacted native fish populations is that they disrupt the food web. Asian carp are big fish, and they eat a lot of food (specifically plankton), meaning that native species that typically rely on this food supply (including ciscos, bloaters and yellow perch) do not have enough food to eat and their numbers dwindle, as has been demonstrated in the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. This, in turn, impacts fish higher up on the food chain who rely on these fish for their food supply. The size of the Asian carp, their speed and their ability to reproduce rapidly makes them all the more dangerous to native species who lake such competitive advantages.
Because the Great Lakes are home to several endangered species of marine life, many worry that the introduction of Asian carp may cause irreversible damage to these delicate populations.
Often times Asian Carp are considered to be vacuum cleaners. They eat a lot of smaller fish, which leaves nothing for native species to feed on. A lot is being done to try to control the asian carp population, especially in Lake Michigan.
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