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Asian carp: A rainstorm away from Lake Michigan?

October 15, 2009 at 06:04 AM

CHICAGO – The Great Lakes Boating Federation urges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to quickly enact new measures to prevent Asian carp from advancing into the Great Lakes. The carp could be carried past the fish barrier in the Sanitary & Ship Canal by flooding of the Des Plaines River. The Corps should take the following actions soon: 1. Construct a barrier to separate the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal from the Des Plaines River, with a material like sandbags; 2. Build a second barrier in the Des Plaines River, upstream from the current location of the Asian carp in the waterway; and 3. Prevent carp from swimming into the Sanitary & Ship Canal by filling in certain parts of the Illinois & Michigan (I & M) Canal.

The Electric Fish Barrier is the main preventative measure keeping the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The barrier is currently operating in the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal at parameters that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard have tested and approved as both aggressive enough to prevent Asian carp from crossing, and safe enough not to harm boaters in certain vessels.

If the fish get beyond the fish barrier in the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal,  they are extremely likely to wreak havoc on the Great Lakes ecosystem. Asian carp have ferocious appetites and may grow to 100 pounds in weight, which will allow them to out-compete animals native to the Great Lakes, decimating the local economies. The carp have, and continue to, injure many boaters by leaping out of the water when startled by vessels.

However, to prevent the carp from bypassing the barrier altogether, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must enact the additional measures stated above. The major threat is that, if the Des Plaines River floods, Asian carp could be carried over the small strip of land separating the two into the canal, which is less than 100 feet away.

The fish could also swim into the Illinois & Michigan Canal, and advance from there during floods through small culverts that connect the I & M Canal to the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal.

Great Lakes Boating strongly recommends that you call your Congressional Representatives and Senators, and the Assistant Secretary of the Army, to request that they ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take immediate action to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. To reach your members of Congress, dial (202) 224-3121 and request to be connected to their offices. To contact the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Ms. Jo Ellen Darcy, call (703) 697-8986, or write to 108 Army Pentagon, Room 3E446, Washington, DC 20310-0108.

Eventually, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River must be fully separated to prevent any invasive species, including the Asian Carp, from advancing from one of the bodies of water into the other. Until then, actions must be taken to keep Asian carp from moving forward, and the Great Lakes ecosystem from being destroyed.

“We’re gratified that the lakes are safe, knowing the barrier is keeping the Asian carp at bay. However, our preparedness after a heavy rainstorm is of great concern,” says F. Ned Dikmen, Ph.D., chairman of the Great Lakes Boating Federation. “No single stakeholder on the Great Lakes would be as harshly affected as the 4.3 million boaters who would be navigating among them.”

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Never Fear!!!!!  Obama is here. Maybe he will take time out of his scedule and fly to Chicago and plead for someone to save this river and lake Michigan.  Kind of like he did trying to convince the world that the Olympics should be in Chicago.
What about the other rivers in our area that have been invaded?  As far as I am concerned the ecosystems of these rivers have been destroyed.  This is what happens when we allow invasive species into our country.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/15 at 02:46 PM

...but man are they fun to shoot with a bow.  See ya next year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/15 at 04:15 PM

This is what happens when we rely on politicians and their electric fish barriers. All that was and is needed is make it worth while for fishermen to go get them. Man has wiped out more species on this planet than anything else. Why not turn them lose on these carp.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/15 at 04:36 PM

Seriously?  An Anti-Obama rant after a story about invasive species?  Hasn’t this issue been known about for a very long time?  Your dislike for Obama has what to do with this? 
Bottom line is that there seems to be little desire to pay taxes in this country.  If you dislike budget deficits and dislike paying taxes, how does this type of costly work get done?  If Obama flew here, would he have the time to build it himself?  Also, invasive species aren’t allowed in, it usually is uninteded or illegal.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/16 at 09:32 AM

I believe ilbowhunter was referring to the article in reports & shorts where 33.5 billion pasted the senate and is soon to be sign by Obama, 6 million of this is suppose to go for electric fences and then complete a study to see if they work. I do dislike paying taxes and then ending up with budget deficits. If I remember correctly they were used in catfish rearing ponds down south to clean the water, the ponds flooded and they ended up in the river. Intentional probably not, illegal I don’t know. I haven’t heard recently the status of the plant in Havana that was to process them. It would help if a market could be developed to help control them but I believe they are here to stay just like the common carp

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/16 at 12:25 PM

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