Terms of Reference
Update to the Ecological Risk Assessment of Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) for the Great Lakes Basin: Lake Ontario
Regional Science Response Process - Central and Arctic Region
February 26, 2016
Burlington, ON and via Teleconference/WebEx
Chairperson: Becky Cudmore
In 2014, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), through the Asian Carp Program, identified the need for a peer-reviewed binational ecological risk assessment of Grass Carp for the Great Lakes basin. This project was vetted through the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, coordinated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) and included experts from the DFO, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as authors of the risk assessment. The process used for this ecological risk assessment serves to summarize the best available information and identify the relative risks posed to a specified area within a specified timeframe by a non-native species. The risk assessment document (Cudmore et al. 2017) contains the body of information used to develop the overall risk of Grass Carp for the Great Lakes basin, across all risk assessment elements, by consensus of the peer-review participants and, ultimately, the authors. It is the definitive science document of this process and includes science advice.
The ecological risk assessment of Grass Carp for the Great Lakes basin (Cudmore et al. 2017) collected and presented information on historical arrivals and risks of Grass Carp to each of the Great Lakes given the information available up to the base assessment year of 2014. At the time, five Grass Carp had been reported from the Lake Ontario basin between 1985 and 2010 (Cudmore et al. 2017); this information helped inform the level of risk assigned to the Lake Ontario basin. After the risk assessment document was peer reviewed, but before it was approved for release, eight Grass Carp were captured in the Canadian waters of Lake Ontario in 2015, including six diploids. These captures are significant and may change the likelihood rankings and ecological consequences ratings for Lake Ontario in the risk assessment document, which may affect the scientific advice regarding the risk of Grass Carp to Lake Ontario. As the risk assessment document has already been peer reviewed and no further revisions are permitted, a Science Response Report was developed to incorporate this new and important information that will act as an addendum to the risk assessment document. Consideration of these captures in the risk assessment process ensures effective scientific advice on the risk of Grass Carp to the Great Lakes basin is provided for managers in a timely manner.
The objective was to review, and revise, if appropriate, the likelihood rankings and ecological consequence ratings for Lake Ontario (Cudmore et al. in prep.) given information on 2015 Grass Carp captures in Lake Ontario that have occurred since the completion of the risk assessment document:
- Determine if the recent (2015) triploid Grass Carp capture in Lake Ontario changes the likelihood rankings (arrival, survival, spread) and ecological consequence ratings for Lake Ontario;
- Determine if the recent (2015) diploid Grass Carp captures in Lake Ontario changes the likelihood rankings (arrival, survival, establishment, spread) and ecological consequence ratings for Lake Ontario.
- Science Response Report
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) (Ecosystems and Oceans Science)
- Great Lakes Fishery Commission
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- U.S. Geological Survey
Cudmore, B., Jones, L.A., Mandrak, N.E., Dettmers, J.M., Chapman, D.C., Kolar, C.S, and Conover, G. 2017. Risk Assessment of Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) in the Great Lakes Basin. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Res. Doc. 2016/118. vi + 115 p.
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