COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Reporters and the public are invited to attend the 2013 meeting of the Mississippi River Basin Panel of the national Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force on July 23-24 at Ohio State University’s Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park in Columbus.
The meeting will give updates on current issues related to aquatic nuisance species, including the status of Asian carp in the Ohio River, and is an opportunity for the public to comment on invasive-species issues and funding priorities.
The panel coordinates federal efforts for preventing and managing aquatic invasive species in the Mississippi River Basin, which covers 1.25 million square miles and drains water from 41 percent of the continental U.S. The panel includes resource managers with government agencies, Extension specialists, university scientists and members from the private sector.
Asian carp -- which are actually four different species, including the silver carp and bighead carp -- are already established in parts of the basin, including the Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi and lower Ohio rivers, where they have displaced native fish such as bass and bluegill.
Experts are highly concerned about the risk from Asian carp should they spread from the basin and reach the Great Lakes, where they could wipe out native walleye, perch and others.
The public portion of the program will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 23 and from 8 a.m. to noon on July 24. The full schedule may be downloaded at http://go.osu.edu/MRBP (pdf).
The Olentangy River Wetland Research Park is at 352 W. Dodridge St. just north of Ohio State’s Columbus campus.
Further details about attending, which is free, are available from Greg Conover of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 618-889-9600, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ohio State’s Eugene Braig is Ohio’s alternate representative to the panel and has helped with the planning of the meeting. He conducts education and outreach program on aquatic invasive species, including Asian carp, as Ohio State University Extension’s aquatic ecosystems program director.
OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
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