Last week, progress was made in curbing the infiltration of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced a new partnership with Ohio, Ontario, and Wisconsin, to fight the potential scourge, which would have an enormous detrimental impact on all of the Great Lakes, if the fish are not stopped in their tracks.
If the carp were allowed through the flood gates into the Great Lakes, they would pose a significant threat to the $7 billion a year fishing industry and the $16 billion a year recreational boating industry, not to mention the environmental impact that would disrupt the whole of the Great Lakes ecosystem.
“Thank you, Governor Snyder, for inviting the Alliance for the Great Lakes to join you today and for your leadership and personal commitment to keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes,” said Molly Flanagan, Alliance for the Great Lakes Vice President for Policy. “Thank you as well to Ohio, Wisconsin, and Ontario for joining Michigan in the Great Lakes Partnership to Block Asian Carp.”
Presently, the carp on the front door of Lake Michigan, being controlled by electric barriers. Even the electric barriers are flawed, however, as a silver carp was found nine miles from Lake Michigan in the Chicago waterways just last summer (lead image). Now, additional control measures are being sought, at a point that has been identified as Brandon Road Lock & Dam near Joliet, IL (waterways connecting the Mississippi River Basin to the Great Lakes). An action plan is being recommended to congress at this juncture. Supporters of the additional protections are urging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to get their findings to congress, in order to establish further measures of control.
A recent study stated, “If they successfully invade Lake Erie, Asian carp could eventually account for about a third of the total weight of fish in the lake and could cause declines in most fish species — including prized sport and commercial fish such as walleye, according to a new computer modeling study.”
Lead image: Courtesy of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources