Asian Carp population in the Wabash River increasing

Jul 16, 2013

Indiana’s attorney general is raising awareness of the Wabash River and how it’s an asset to the state. Greg Zoeller is touring stretches of the river by boat.

In Lafayette Tuesday, he talked about the threat posed by the presence of the invasive species of Asian Carp.

“There’s going to be an awful lot that has to be done to address this,” he says. “It’s a national effort. The Great Lakes states really didn’t cause this problem, so I think it is appropriate the federal government step in and kind of help.”

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller (left) looks on as Purdue Professor Reuben Goforth discusses the Asian Carp invasion of the Wabash River.
Credit Mike Loizzo / WBAA Radio

Zoeller says delaying action will make the matter worse. He says the federal government has worked with Purdue researchers on interrupting the Asian Carps’ spawning cycle. Another option Zoeller has heard of is using toxins that target only the invasive species.

Purdue professor Reuben Goforth studies the Asian Carp. He says, at this point, government funding is a priority.

“To help us determine what we have to do, what the most successful strategies are going to be for control,” he says. “I mean, we like to think about eradication too, although that’s an extremely long shot at this point.”

Goforth says the Asian Carp is a challenge, because it seems to be able to acclimate and adapt to changing conditions. He says it’s difficult to gauge the current impact the fish is having on the Wabash River ecosystem right now, because it’s in the early stages of invasion.