Aquatic Research Updates
University of Illinois is actively involved in research on Asian carp species in the Illinois River Waterway through its Illinois River Biological Station in partnership with multiple state and federal agencies in Illinois and the surrounding states. Several research projects have also been completed on non-native species that have become established in the Illinois River Waterway such as white perch, round goby, and zebra mussels. Extension partner, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, also actively does research on aquatic invasive species.
Management of invasive species
To combat Asian carp population expansion and decrease densities in the Upper Mississippi River the Illinosi River Biological Station is taking additional measures to monitor, control and manage Asian carp while densities are still relatively low using commercial fishers. The results will help determine how effective commercial harvesting can be on reducing Asian carp populations.
Predicting invasion risks
Anticipating where harmful invasive species may live outside of their native range is difficult. Scientists should use information from well-studied invasive species to make precautionary predictions of how different of an environment an emerging invasive species can tolerate relative to their native range.
Impacts on native species
Cordylophora caspia is an invasive hydroid with an expanding range in southern Lake Michigan. Little is known about the distribution and ecological effects of this benthic hydroid, but their predatory feeding behavior on invertebrates raises concern as to their effect on food availability for benthivorous fishes.