NEWS

2 dreaded Asian Carp found in Toronto pond

07/29/2015 02:46 EDT | Updated 07/29/2016 05:59 EDT
Agencies from three levels of government sprang into action after two Asian Grass Carp were found in a pond near the city's waterfront.

Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) said Wednesday that its staff discovered the first one on Monday while relocating fish from the pond at Tommy Thompson Park near the waterfront as part of the construction of a nine-hectare wetland. The second fish was found Tuesday.

TRCA teamed up with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to search for more of the highly invasive species.

The only other live Grass Carp in a Toronto waterway was found by TRCA staff in 2003 at the mouth of the Don River.

Fish can weigh up to 40 kg

Asian carp is a catchall name for species of Silver, Bighead, Grass, and Black Carp from Southeast Asia. The fish typically weigh two to four kilograms, but can weigh up to 40 kilograms, and are known to eat up to 20 per cent of their body weight in plankton each day.

Earlier this month, United States' government agencies said they plan to spend nearly $60 million (US) over the next two years in the battle to prevent invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, where scientists say they could unravel food chains and harm native fish.

On its site, the TRCA says "where they have proliferated in parts of the United States, Grass Carp have had a negative effect on the ecosystem, as well as on the commercial and recreational fishery. Grass Carp feed extensively on aquatic vegetation, often uprooting large areas of vegetation, thus depleting other native fish species."

TRCA asks that if you see an Asian carp, please the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711

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