PRESS RELEASE WV DNR
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Resources Section has confirmed that environmental DNA (eDNA) from the invasive Asian carp was found in water samples taken from the Ohio River and Kanawha River.
As part of a cooperative project, the fisheries biologists from the Wildlife Resources Section and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) collected water samples in July 2014 from the Ohio River within the New Cumberland Navigational Pool (Hancock County) and Pike Island Navigational Pool (Ohio and Brooke counties), as well as the Little Kanawha River (Wood and Wirt counties) and the Kanawha River (Putnam and Kanawha counties). These water samples were tested for the presence of eDNA for bighead and silver carp by the USFWS.
Positive results were found for bighead and silver carp DNA from the New Cumberland Navigational Pool, as well as for bighead carp DNA from the Winfield Pool of the Kanawha River. All samples were found to be negative for both bighead and silver carp DNA collected from the Pike Island Navigational Pool, as well as the Little Kanawha River.
Researchers use eDNA analysis as a tool for the early detection of Asian carp. The presence of eDNA does not provide physical proof of the presence of live or dead Asian carp, but indicates the presence of genetic material in the water body. This genetic material may be the result of live carp, or transport of only the genetic material via boats, birds or other vectors.
Asian carp are a significant threat to aquatic ecosystems, as well as to angling and boating recreational activities. Because of the harmful nature of these Asian carp species, the DNR urges anglers and boaters to help in slowing the spread of these invasive species.
Anglers and boaters should thoroughly clean gear and boats before entering new waters. Anglers should never release live fish into a public water body and always properly discard baitfish after a fishing trip.
Boaters and anglers are asked to contact the DNR if they suspect that they have observed Asian carp in any West Virginia water body. To learn how to identify Asian carp or more about these invasive species, please consult the DNR website (http://wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Asian_Carp.shtm). All USFWS eDNA results, including the ones from the Ohio and Kanawha rivers, can be found at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/fisheries/eDNA.html.