Updated: June 19, 2013 1:50PM
Two species of invasive Asian carp may be able to spawn in more Great Lakes tributaries than previously thought.
That’s according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which released a new report about the fish on Tuesday.
Researchers hope the new material will help predict where the fish could spawn if they make it from Chicago-area waterways into the Great Lakes.
The voracious eaters can reach 100 pounds and experts worry they’d be able to out-compete native fish for food and threaten the lakes’ $7 billion fishing industry.
The new data show fertilized Asian carp eggs can incubate in waterways that are only 16 miles long. That’s far shorter than the 62 miles of undammed water that researchers once thought the drifting eggs needed.