Invasive Species and how they are changing the St. Lawrence River

Invasive Species and how they are changing the St. Lawrence River
Round gobies amongst zebra mussel-covered rocks in the St. Lawrence River.

Cornwall, Ontario – Back on May 27 of this year two commercial fishermen on the St. Lawrence River, in Quebec, were taken by surprise when they caught what has now been confirmed to be an invasive Grass carp. Identified by the Quebec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, this 29 kg female Asian carp created headlines throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The Grass carp is one of four species of the highly invasive Asian carp family. On Wednesday, September 14th at 7 pm the popular Science and Nature on Tap Series will launch its Fall season by taking a closer look these invasive fish species when local Aquatic Biologist, Matt Windle takes the podium at Schnitzel’s in Cornwall.

Since the 1800s, at least 25 invasive species of fish have entered the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence River Eco-system. These aquatic hitchhikers include Zebra Mussels, the pervasive Round Goby, as well as a variety of members of the Carp family. The River is also troubled by fast-growing invasive plants, that displace the native plants which support wildlife habitat, fishing, paddling, and that prevent erosion. Imbalances are created by encroaching foreign species and produce changes that can be felt throughout the system.

Matt Windle, an Aquatic Biologist with the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences, investigates the changes that are brought about by these intrusive varieties, in particular the impact of invasive fish species that have continued to enter our waterways. This session will explore the impact of different invasive species, look at various types of Asian carp, and examine how some local species have actually begun to adapt to changes brought about by invasives within the River’s Ecosystem.

The public is invited to explore the fascinating world of science and nature at this free session, hosted by the St. Lawrence Institute of Environmental Sciences, at Schnitzels European Flavours in Cornwall.  However, space is limited so if you would like more information or to reserve a seat please call (613) 936-6620 or e-mail or visit the River Institute website at

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