It is important to note that Michigan's Asian Carp management plan is not intended to be a rapid response plan. The executive summary of the management plan clearly states that the plan is, "a comprehensive strategy for addressing the threat of Asian carps dispersing, or being introduced, into Michigan's waters." The plan comes with 5 management goals which are quoted below:
• Goal I: Prevent the accidental or deliberate introduction of bighead, black, grass and silver carps in Michigan (p. 22). Strategic actions for goal I include the following:
1. Prevent transport and release or improper disposal of Asian carps that may be intermixed with baitfish.
2. Control ongoing and permitted fish stocking efforts to prevent inadvertent introduction of Asian carps.
3. Prohibit import, possession, sale, purchase, and intentional introduction of Asian carps.
4. Work with other agencies and partners to prevent introduction or range expansion of Asian carps in situations where we have common interests or existing cooperative agreements for management.
• Goal II: Effectively share information to improve management and control of bighead, black, grass, and silver carps in Michigan (p. 26). Strategic actions for goal II include the following:
1. Develop educational materials related to identification of Asian carps.
2. Develop educational materials describing the potential negative effects of Asian carps and methods to prevent their introduction.
3. Develop educational materials describing regulations pertinent to preventing the introduction of Asian carps.
4. Develop educational materials describing human health and safety issues related to establishment of Asian carps.
5. Effectively communicate with the public regarding Asian carps developments and our response strategies.
6. Develop DNRE and MDA Asian Carps Task Group and communication system
• Goal III: Detect the presence of bighead, black, grass, and silver carps in Michigan (p. 30). Strategic actions for goal III includes the following:
1. Implement an eDNA surveillance strategy for Michigan water, based on Asian carps distribution and likely risk to Michigan waters.
2. Use an informed public (including commercial fishers, recreational fishers, and fish distributers) to enhance monitoring for Asian carps.
3. Develop monitoring network through an expanded scientific collector's permit system.
4. Utilize existing inland and Great Lakes fishery survey efforts to detect the presence of Asian carps.
5. Monitor fish passage systems and weirs to assess the movement and distribution of Asian carps.
• Goal IV: Gather population level data on Asian carps at areas where they have been detected in Michigan waters; measure response of Michigan fish populations to introduction of Asian Carps (p. 33). Strategic actions for goal IV includes the following:
1. Implement expanded fisheries surveys in waters where Asian carps have been detected, with survey designs linked to likely management actions in waters of concern.
• Goal V: Eradicate, contain, or manage populations of Asian carps if they become established in Michigan (p. 35). Strategic actions for goal V includes the following:
1. Follow AIS-HACCP (Gunderson and Kinnunen 2004) recommendations when conducting operations potentially influencing Michigan waters.
2. Evaluate construction, maintenance, monitoring, operations, or removal of permanent and temporary barriers to dispersal of Asian carps.
3. Encourage commercial and recreational harvest.
4. Physically remove incidental catches of Asian carps during fisheries surveys, when practical.
5. Implement chemical pesticide eradication plans, if Asian carps create negative ecological, economic, or social effects in Michigan.
6. Utilize new technologies, as available and appropriate, to contain or manage Asian carps.
Much of the Asian Carp Background and Management Actions sections relied heavily on previous reports and plans which are mentioned in the plan's executive summary on page 6.
The details of the Goals, strategic actions and their tasks can be found at:
The five goals presented in Michigan's Asian Carp management plan will provide the focal point of the plan. Currently the DNRE has been working on their Michigan Asian Carps Task Group which is a committee responsible for, "overseeing prevention, communication, detection, and management efforts; disseminating the results of these efforts; and identifying plan changes necessary to meet outlined goals" (p. 47). The DNRE has already begun working on their prevention and surveillance methods. Educational brochures are already in circulation and additional educational and communication information can be found online.
The plan is an adequate plan for Michigan because it takes appropriate measures to prevent the carp from being introduced in the state's waters. In order for this measure to work the DNRE must be able to continuously cover and survey the majority of Michigan's waters where Asian carps pose threat and they must be able to more carefully inspect live fish trade. The plan also takes sufficient actions to educate the public about Asian carps. Educating the public about Asian Carp is a crucial step towards helping Michigan residents understand the dangers of the invasive species however, it is questionable to how effective it will be due to limited interests. It is highly recommended that the state take actions to try integrating the issue of Asian Carp and other invasive species into K-12 curriculums which enable younger people to better understand the issue and share it with people who know little about it.
It is questionable to how long Michigan's Asian Carp management plan will be successful. The DNRE does not have authority over the waters in Illinois and the Mississippi River Basin where the carp are currently concentrated. Because of this, the DNRE can only take measures to protect the State of Michigan. Currently, the state's management plan is well thought out and is realistic to implement however; if the carp gain entry into the Great Lakes from Chicago or other potential outlets leading from the Mississippi River Basin and into Lake Michigan, the plan might become useless and require serious modifications or a whole new plan.