The search for Asian carp in Lake Erie has moved to the Sandusky River and Sandusky Bay, where 20 of 150 water samples collected in early August tested positive for the presence of silver carp environmental DNA, or eDNA.
Samples were also taken from the Maumee River, Maumee Bay and Western Lake Erie. The results of those samples should be available in September.
The Sandusky Bay-area positive samples prompted the Ohio Division of Wildlife fisheries experts to intensify their search for live carp.
Researchers report eDNA evidence can’t determine whether live Asian carp are swimming in Sandusky Bay, or if the eDNA was brought to the area in the bilge water of freighters or other boats, storm sewers or fish-eating birds.
The large number of positive results surprised fisheries experts, especially the makeup of the results. In water samples taken in August 2011, positive samples from Sandusky Bay were of bighead carp. This time, it was all silver carp, the invasive Asian carp that leap from the water when disturbed.