First documentation of grass carp spawning in Lake Erie’s Central Basin

Journal of Great Lakes Research
By: , and 



Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) are non-indigenous to North America having been translocated to the United States in the 1960s as a potential non-chemical solution for nuisance aquatic vegetation. Reproductively viable grass carp now exist in many watersheds in the United States. In the Great Lakes basin, grass carp were first discovered in the 1980s with direct confirmation of successful reproduction in 2015 via collection of fertilized grass carp eggs in the Sandusky River. Early life stage monitoring also confirmed reproduction in the Maumee River in 2017. During 2018–2021, no new spawning tributaries were discovered (18 total sampling events in five Great Lakes tributaries). In 2022, fourteen eggs with characteristics similar to grass carp were identified from the Huron River which is a tributary to Lake Erie’s Central Basin. Eggs were identified to species via DNA sequencing and were determined to be grass carp eggs. The confirmation of spawning in the Huron River represents a third spawning tributary in the Lake Erie basin and expands eastward the geographic extent of known grass carp spawning locations. Presently, the ability of the Huron River to support hatching and survival of larval grass carp is unknown. Discovery of the Huron River as a grass carp spawning tributary identifies the value of continued surveillance in Great Lakes tributaries for early life stages and conducting scientific inquiries evaluating the consistency of tributary use and survival of early life stages.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title First documentation of grass carp spawning in Lake Erie’s Central Basin
Series title Journal of Great Lakes Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jglr.2024.102350
Volume 50
Issue 3
Year Published 2024
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center, Great Lakes Science Center
Description 102350, 6 p.
Country United States
State Ohio
Other Geospatial Huron River
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