COLUMBUS - One water sample out of 225 samples during recent testing from the Maumee River contained traces of genetic material from silver Asian carp, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
In the 100 samples from the Sandusky River, no Asian carp genetic material was found.
The testing seeks to identify the presence of environmental DNA from bighead or silver Asian carp. Samples were collected as part of an extensive monitoring effort in the Maumee and Sandusky rivers by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
"The eDNA technology represents a tremendous early detection tool that will help us identify potential sources and vectors of Asian carp. It is important that we look at the persistence of eDNA over time to help guide us on future efforts," said Rich Carter, executive administrator, ODNR Fish Management and Research.
Ohio teamed with the USFWS and Michigan DNR last year to conduct a targeted survey for bighead and silver Asian carp after Asian carp eDNA was detected in Maumee and Sandusky bays and rivers in 2011 and 2012. No live fish were captured during last year's cooperative search.
There also is ongoing routine sampling being conducted by all the states that border Lake Erie, as well as an extensive commercial and recreational fishing effort, with no live fish captured in these efforts.
ODNR plans to continue to collaborate with USFWS on follow-up sampling. Monitoring for live fish is to continue through an ongoing annual inter-agency fish sampling program, commercial fishery catch reporting and reporting by recreational fishermen.
Environmental DNA can be left in the environment in the form of scales, cells, feces or mucus. At present, eDNA evidence cannot verify whether live Asian carp are present, whether the DNA may have come from a dead fish or whether water containing Asian carp DNA may have been transported from other sources such as bilge water, storm sewers or fish-eating birds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Geological Survey are leading a two-year Asian Carp Environmental eDNA Calibration Study, funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to reduce the uncertainty surrounding Asian carp eDNA results.
For more information on ECALS, visit www.asiancarp.us.
For more information on the science of eDNA, watch the video at youtu.be/xXwply6ahQ8.