The salinity of the Saguenay and the absence of large wetlands on its current form a natural barrier against the invasion of Asian carp, including a huge specimen of 1.26 meters and weighing 140 pounds was caught accidentally in the St. Lawrence River.
This decision made at the height of Contrecoeur caused a real commotion Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Park due to damage caused by this species in river basins that colonizes the speed of lightning.
Lac Saint-Jean would be against by an ideal living environment for the fish accidentally introduced from farms along the Mississippi.
“Indeed, according to the biologist team of Asian carp Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Park, Michel Legault, there are barriers that prevent natural colonization, but there is always the risk that individual to contravene the law by illegally using a baitfish. colonization of catfish We lived because someone decided without any authorization to be in a basin that spilled into a creek and has colonized Lake Saint-Jean. It is forbidden to be in possession of live Asian carp in Canada, “says the biologist.
The fisherman of Contrecoeur, part of a network of surveillance, immediately informed the Ministry of his capture. Biologists from the Department have already sent to different laboratories in Ontario parts of the fish for analysis and are in contact with the American specialists who face this invasion for several years.
“We need to determine if this fish, a female of a very large, ended up in the river accidentally or if we face a colonization front. Analyses will give us guidance for determining this important element. At the same time, we set up an operation in the area where it was caught to see if other Asian carp frequent this place, “continues the biologist.
As for the Saguenay, the scientist asks fishermen to immediately notify the Ministry if ever they witness the presence of an unusual fish. In theory, the fjord is not a preferred habitat for Asian carp, but it is not impossible that the fish frequent if we faced a settlement in the St. Lawrence.
“The river is exactly the natural habitat of this fish in Asia. It lives in large rivers with meadows and fresh water as is the case throughout the area of Lake Saint-Pierre. It supports saline areas and could in theory end up in the Saguenay. This is a fish that feed primarily on phytoplankton, which is less available in Saguenay with the exception of a few areas such as Saint-Fulgence. Lac Saint-Jean, however, provides a suitable habitat for fish and people should be aware. It is especially the fish that frequent the herbaria that suffer the impacts and many of these fish are the food of gold “continues the biologist.
$ 1.7 million
The Quebec government does not take this case lightly Asian carp. It has provided funding of $ 1.7 million in the last budget to deal with this situation since this unwanted fish already frequent the Great Lakes basin. In less than 20 years, the Asian carp up the Mississippi River from fish farms in the southern United States to colonize the entire river to the Illinois River, a stone’s throw from the Great Lakes basin.
The presence of these invasive species can cause major economic losses. Just think of the disappearance of walleye in the Lake St. John to understand the consequences, including a major reduction in fishing. People who decide to create private lakes by introducing species from other watersheds threaten the biodiversity of a territory and the example of the brown bullhead in Lake Saint-Jean confirms that the risk is omnipresent.