— A mountain range in Wyoming has been identified by scientists as a potential breeding ground for invasive species, including the Asian carp.
The U.S. Geological Survey announced Monday that a new study identified the area near Yellowstone National Park as a “high-risk” breeding site for the invasive carp.
Yellowstone’s Lake Powell is a high-risk breeding ground.
“We’re not seeing the Asian fish moving into the Yukon,” said John Bales, a wildlife biologist with the USGS in Yellowstone.
The study found that the fish moved into the region because of water quality problems in Lake Powell, which flows through the Yukonto Plateau.
Bales told reporters Monday that the area is “a good place to get an idea of where we’re at with the population.”
The fish were first spotted in the area in 2013.
They were later discovered to be spreading to a remote lake, the Yellowstone Watershed, where they had recently started to reproduce.
Yellowstone has not seen the Asian catfish since 2014, when they were spotted there.
The Asian carp is native to China, Japan and other Asian countries, but is not native to the United States.
It is a native of Japan, which has been plagued by an alarming number of the carp in recent years.
Balsy said the fish were a “major problem” in the lakes in Lake Michigan and Lake Powell.
“The fish are feeding in very low numbers, which means they’re being transported in really low numbers,” he said.
Bays said it was the first time he’s seen an Asian carp that was a new species in the lake.
He said the lake water quality was “poor,” and the fish would have been killed if it was released into the lake because of the low quality of the water.
The USGS also released a list of potential breeding sites in the Yukontas watershed, which includes the Yellowstone River and the Lake Powell Plateau, where the fish have been seen in recent months.
The new research is part of a multiyear effort to monitor the health of the Yukons lakes, which are one of the world’s largest lakes, with the largest number of fish in the world.