Asian Carp Threaten Chicago Area Waterway System, Great Lakes

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invasive silver carp leaping
Silver Carp | Credit: USGS

Live Asian carp have been caught in the Chicago Area Waterway System. “The Great Lakes are on the brink of a great ecological and economic disaster that states in the region may never overcome,” Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio wrote in a July 2010 letter to President Obama. “We need immediate, decisive action.”

In his letter, Governor Strickland called for the immediate construction of a permanent physical barrier on the Calumet River, where the live carp specimen was found, and Lake Michigan. “We must create an alternate mode (or modes) of moving people, cargo and storm water without allowing any aquatic species to move between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basins.” he wrote.

The impact of an invasion of Asian carp could be overwhelming. The fish are prolific breeders and can grow to over four feet and weigh up to 100 pounds. It is a voracious eater that biologists fear will outmaneuver native fish and cause a collapse in the lakes’ multibillion-dollar commercial and recreational fishing industries.

The climate of the Great Lakes region is also a close match to their native Asian habitats, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  “The situation facing the Great Lakes region is dire,” Strickland also wrote. “If we fail to act now, we risk surrendering these lakes to an invasive species that could leave the Great Lakes an ecological wasteland.”

source: Fishlink Sublegals