KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — No genetic material from Asian carp turned up in 200 water samples taken from Michigan's Kalamazoo River in July, one of a series of tests for the aquatic invaders in Great Lakes tributaries, officials said Thursday.
The samples were taken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is monitoring Great Lakes tributaries for signs of the invasive fish.
DNA from bighead and silver carp has been detected in Chicago-area waterways, raising concerns that they may be near Lake Michigan. Both were imported from Asia. Officials are trying to prevent them from reaching the Great Lakes, where they could out-compete native fish for food.
As part of a larger monitoring program, tributaries of Lake Michigan also were sampled, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said. They are the Muskegon, St. Joseph and Grand rivers. Tests also were conducted on Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and tributaries of western Lake Erie, including the Belle, Black and Swan rivers.
Test results for these locations will be available later this year, the DNR said.
"We appreciate the coordination and resources made available by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in this early monitoring and detection effort," DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter said in a statement. "Traditional fish sampling that uses electrofishing or netting is inefficient at collecting fish that are in low numbers. These ... efforts allow us to be strategic about collecting information and focusing further monitoring or control efforts if needed."
The state agency said it is asking boaters and anglers to report fish they think may be Asian carp.
"We need the people who are on the water ... to be our eyes and ears across the landscape," said DNR official Tammy Newcomb. "These individuals should be observant and report fish they believe are Asian carp."
Video for identifying Asian carp: http://bit.ly/1f5IHlT
Asian carp questions and answers: http://www.michigan.gov/asiancarp