DNA of Asian carp reportedly found in Erie
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today announced that it has conducted targeted invasive carp sampling in Presque Isle Bay, Erie County, after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) detected the presence of Silver Carp environmental DNA (eDNA).
On July 11, the PFBC was informed by the USFWS that laboratory results from routine eDNA sampling conducted by the USFWS in May detected silver carp eDNA at one of the 100 sample locations in Presque Isle Bay. In response to this detection, the PFBC conducted targeted boat electrofishing sampling near the detection location on July 14. No silver carp were collected or observed. In addition, boat electrofishing sampling operations conducted by the PFBC in the same area of Presque Isle Bay on May 18 for another purpose prior to the positive eDNA findings, did not capture any invasive carp.
While no physical invasive carp specimens have been detected, the PFBC has requested that the USFWS collect additional water samples from Presque Isle Bay in the fall when more favorable environmental conditions are present for eDNA sampling.
The detection of eDNA is simply that, a determination of the presence of eDNA. It cannot determine whether the presence was from a live fish or from another source, such as bird feces, water transported in the live well of a recreational boat recently in waters infested with silver carp, or from melted ice used to store silver carp at fish markets that flowed into storm sewers. However, repeated detections of eDNA over time increases the concern that the genetic material may have come from fish living in the area where the sample was collected, which is why future eDNA sampling is recommended.