Asian Carp – MNR Rapid Response Plan


(Giant Asian Carp caught in American Midwest)

Thanks to Heather Visser of the MNR for sending me details on the Ministry’s Rapid Response Plan – a report for dealing with the dreaded Asian Carp in the Great Lakes.

Here’s the line I like:  “only a week earlier a fish importer had been fined $50,000 for trying to truck 1,800 kilograms of live Asian carp across the Windsor/ Detroit border to sell in the Greater Toronto Area.”  Ok, what was that imbecile thinking???

Here is a copy of that MNR document:

Asian Carp rapid response plan


If you fish in the Great Lakes or their tributaries, your favourite catch may be walleye or bass, or perhaps muskie or lake trout.  So how would you feel if you came home empty-handed because nine out of ten fish out there were plankton-eating bighead or silver carp – AKA Asian carp?


That’s the reality now in parts of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. And that’s why Ontario, Canada and the U.S. want to keep the voracious, invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.


The need for a coordinated plan to fight Asian carp led the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, with support from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, to host a “table-top exercise” in March. The exercise simulated an incident where Asian carp get into Ontario waters. The aim was to test if the agencies involved are ready to respond quickly to stop their spread.


“Preventing Asian carp from spreading into the Great Lakes is the most cost-effective control measure we’ll ever have,” says Ontario Minister of Natural Resources Linda Jeffrey. “This exercise was about making sure all the agencies involved work together, and identifying areas where we’re vulnerable.”


For the March 11 exercise, participants rehearsed how they would respond if an accident on a bridge over the Thames River in southwestern Ontario caused a truckload of live Asian carp to be dumped in and near the river. It was a timely choice – only a week earlier a fish importer had been fined $50,000 for trying to truck 1,800 kilograms of live Asian carp across the Windsor/ Detroit border to sell in the Greater Toronto Area. It’s illegal to possess live Asian carp in Ontario.


The term “Asian carp” includes four species – bighead, silver, grass and black carp. The bighead and silver carp currently pose the biggest threat. They weigh up to 45 kilograms and can grow to more than a metre long. As filter feeders that can eat 20 per cent of their body weight a day in plankton, they’re able to grow and multiply faster than native species. In some areas of the U.S. carp populations are doubling every year.


After escaping from aquaculture ponds in the southern U.S. in the 1970s and 80s, Asian carp spread northward, raising fears they could enter the Great Lakes through waterways in the Chicago area. Today in parts of the Mississippi River Basin they have outcompeted native fish and make up as much as 90 per cent of all fish by weight. Yet their commercial value is very low compared to native species.


As well as causing the catastrophic decline of native fish populations and the economic devastation of sport and commercial fisheries, silver carp in particular are a hazard to people on the water. When they’re disturbed by boat motors the fish jump as much as two metres out of the water. Boaters and waterskiers on the Illinois River have already been hit and injured. 


Canadian and U.S. experts agree that Asian carp would thrive in the Great Lakes, and that quick action is the only way to prevent Asian carp from spreading if they are found in the Great Lakes Basin.


During the table-top exercise, local MNR staff described how they would place nets upstream and downstream to catch and identify fish in the river, test the fish to find out if they could reproduce, and confirm if the river habitat was suitable for Asian carp. The agencies involved also had to decide if any local species at risk might be harmed by the control measures, and keep governments, partners, the public and the media informed.


“Ontario’s recreational fishery contributes $500 million to the province’s economy each year, our commercial fishery is worth up to $215 million a year, and the Great Lakes ecosystem is priceless,” says Minister Jeffrey. “With so much at stake, we have to be prepared.”


How You Can Help:


  • If you believe you have seen or caught an Asian carp, or you have found one in your bait bucket, DO NOT release the fish. Humanely kill it and report your sighting. Please visit to fill out an online Invasive Species reporting form, or call 1-800-563-7711 toll-free.


  • Check your bait and don’t dump your bait bucket in the water.

12 thoughts on “Asian Carp – MNR Rapid Response Plan”

  1. humanely kill it hahahaha too much
    I guess he was importing it so they could sell them fresh in some of those fresh fish markets

    1. Iggy, it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard…how can someone be so ignorant??


  2. would eating it be considered ‘humane”
    When I was a kid we used to catch carp at Hogs Back Falls and sell them to the Italians for five bucks.
    Italians are known for their humanity, and for having lots of five dollars bill in their pocket

    1. Yeah, and we thought Common Carp were bad back then..another example of an exotic accidental introduction…although we have learned to live with them, Im not sure about these new Carp!

      P.S. $5 is pretty good Iggy…I was also told as a kid never to sell my fish to anyone because it was illegal.

    2. Sorry Iggy, to answer your question..eating these things would be more than humane…but using them as fertilizer would be an even better idea.


  3. well that’s what came to mind first, I remember once having a fishing contest where we took all the rock bass and sun fish and left them on shore to die, far enough away from the lake that they couldn’t flop back in, the next day they were all gone so they sure didn’t go to waste
    Would that classify as humane?

  4. we were poor, anything that made money to buy a meal was legal, except stealing which was followed by a beating, speaking of humane treatment LOL

  5. When I was a kid I used to pray to god for a new bike then I realized he didn’t work that way so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness…….I also used to sell crayfish to the italians.

  6. when I was a kid we walked to school, 5 miles there five back
    bare foot
    over glass
    both ways
    in three feet of snow
    winter and summer

  7. old is right, and old enough to be born with a pair of legs that will get me to school and back, even in three feet of snow and on glass, winter and summer

    1. Well, here’s to highjacking my own post(for lack of a better way) an update to the Jack Snedden trap theft story from last summer:

      Original Post from Aug 9, 2010: SUN Media in Toronto recently reported on an Oshawa man who had stolen two of the city’s conibear beaver traps, and then bragged about it on Facebook.

      I am pleased to report that 62-year old Jack Snedden has now been charged by the Ministry of Natural Resources for interfering with lawful trapping, and unlawful possession of a body gripping trap.

      Instead of paying the $420 fine, however, Snedden is pleading not guilty and plans to fight the charges in court.

      “I think it is a travesty quite frankly,” he told the Sun . “I think I did the community a favour.”

      The traps were there because Oshawa has been grappling with how to deal with the three to five beavers that have built a dam at the Goodman Creek storm water detention pond, explained Toronto SUN reporter Don Peat.
      Peat went on to say how City councillors had voted to trap and kill the beavers, to ensure the pond drained properly and prevent potential flooding at 400 houses south of King St.

      Photos of Snedden with the traps can still be found on the Facebook group called “Save the Goodman Creek Beavers Protest!”

      I suppose Facebook has become the latest tool in the Animal Rights Activist’s arsenal of weapons…after all, it worked out so well for fake cancer sufferer Ashley Kirilow!

      Our friend Trapper will be attending Mr Snedden’s trial on June 30th in Whitby court, for those who are interested in following the case…I’m sure Trapper will keep us posted.


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