Non-Native Fish DNA Found in Muskingum River

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Some non-native fish in our rivers are once again raising awareness for local wildlife officials.

State researchers say they've discovered bighead carp DNA in the Muskingum River.

That creates new concerns that the Asian carp may have found a route to Lake Erie.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the carp could ruin the Great Lakes sport fishing industry, because they're a major disruption to the food chain.

But while researchers found DNA in the Muskingum, they haven't found the fish itself.

The water samples were collected last fall.

"We're monitoring what we call EDNA. That's environmental DNA and that's basically trace elements of the DNA of Asian carp, silver carp and bighead carp," says Michael Greenlee, with the Ohio Division of Wildlife. "These two species feed on primary food organisms like zooplankton, small aquatic invertebrates in the water column which are the building blocks of the food chain."

Federal wildlife officials now plan to do additional tests this summer.

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