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Illinois hunting and fishing

A commercial fisherman’s catch waits to be unloaded at Big River Fish in Pearl. Chris Young/The State Journal-Register.

Sen. Dick Durbin introduces bill to separate Great Lakes from Mississippi River Basin

March 07, 2011 at 08:37 AM

Prairie State Outdoors

U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) have sponsored legislation to separate Lake Michigan from canals linking it to the Mississippi River Basin in an effort to stop the spread of invasive species such as Asian carp.

U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The “Stop Asian Carp Act” would require development of a plan to permanently separate Lake Michigan from the Chicago Area Waterway System.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also would be required to develop a system to transfer goods from Lake Michigan to tributaries of the Mississippi, including the Illinois River, without the use of canals currently in use.

Lawmakers are concerned that Asian carp could harm Lake Michigan’s $7 billion fishing industry and $16 billion recreational boating industry.

Efforts to force the closure of locks linking canals with Lake Michigan have been unsuccessful and are opposed by shipping interests.

Other Great Lakes states tried to force Illinois to close the locks through legal action, but the courts have said no.

The Mississippi River Basin was not connected to the Great Lakes until engineers reversed the flow of the Chicago River just over a century ago.

Sewage from the City of Chicago was flowing into Lake Michigan where the city’s residents were getting their drinking water.

The reversal sent sewage downstream and away from Chicago.

Asian carp have spread rapidly since their introduction to the Mississippi River from aquaculture operations in the southern United States in the 1970s.

They are so numerous they now outweigh all other fish in the Illinois River.

Five Senate members and 21 House members have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

catchandfillet, so we just surrender? Do you have ANY IDEA What that species of fish will do to the Great Lakes system? Suuuure, corporate pigs and their bought off politicians have already wasted enough time to see the fish has a chance. The river should have been sealed off long ago but greedy businessmen/jerks in this state undermined it. Now you just want give up? Coward.

Jeez,Thanks for nothing.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/08 at 06:48 AM

By the way I believe the initial release was cause by a flood.  Good lord, the citizens in this country are so damned short-sighted it’s nuts.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/08 at 06:50 AM

There is no way I would like to see these fish enter the Great Lakes. But the people of down state Illinois have been fighting and screaming about this problem for a long time with no outside help. From the Federal Goverment to other State Goverments, nobody cared, now that these fish are knocking at the door of getting into the Great Lakes why is it only our problem. Can we now counter sue other States on the Lakes and Erie Canal for allowing in the Goby & Zebra Mussels. But that still doesn’t solve any problems does it. And man, does it make me feel all fuzzy and warm these locks are open so Chicago can spill it’s sewage down on us and any other State’s below them through the river and be the major cause of the dead spots in the Gulf. Oh, lets sue the Catfish Farmers that caused all this during the floods, I am sure they and their Insurance Companies can afford to fix this problem. And Durbin’s call is for Legislation to be passed, oh my God the day is saved by ole Dickie Durbin, he has now going to pass new Legislation, them darned Carp are now turning around and heading back South, how about adding to that Legislation that we don’t get anymore of Chi-towns sewage either! Legislation and Lawyers are not going to solve this problem, But Bioligists and Engineers can, and even though I hate to say it, but it is going to take tax dollars to do it, but just not Illinois money either. Like I wrote before, we have been asking for help for a long time with this problem. We didn’t cause the problem and we are not the only State to allow an Evasive Species into the Great Lakes, so why should we be the only ones to have to pay for this mess.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/08 at 10:07 AM

Biologists have been against the connection since it’s creation.  Look at all the nasty invasive species that have entered the Great Lakes, via the St. Lawrence Seaway, eventually migrating down the Illinois River.  The zebra and quagga mussels, round goby, spiny water flea, and VHS, just to name a few.  How much flora and fauna in the Missisppi & Illinois waterways were adversly impacted by invaders leaving Lake Michigan?  Where was the outrage by legislators, attorneys general, governors while this was/is going on?
While I’m in favor of ending the connection, I just find it ironic that there was little talk about breaking the connection to the Lake Michigan UNTIL the politicians were worried about an adverse impact of an invader entering the lake from the Illinois waterway.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/09 at 12:09 AM

Contrary to the way that this article reads, this bill is nothing more than funding another series of studies. Other media outlets are more accurately reporting the contents and text of the bill. If the bill passes, there is another 18 month study being funded and set up to study the concept and feasibility of separation. It is also provideing funding to the Corps of Engineers for their own study of how to move the cargo if the seperation takes place. There is nothing in this new bill that I have found that funds one single shovel of dirt going into the canals. Nothing in this bill that funds a railroad line, trucking terminal, mega conveyor or anything that moves the cargo. Nothing in the bill that kills a single carp. Over 100 million dollars have already been thrown at studies, work groups, task forces, Carp Czars, semminars, summits and press conferences on this issue. Almost every college and university is already in on the game, as suitcases of money have been given to college and university professors for them to “research” every concept.  The Corps bureacracy has already received a big bag of money to assure their jobs, as they do the studies they have already been funded for. State and federal wildlife agencies all over the midwest have funded positions out of the first two rounds of taxpayer dollars. This is just round #3 of the same. I eliminate more asian carp in one run on the river with my jon boat, than all these rounds of government press release- money release games have done so far combined. When all the money is spent- we will still have asian carp in the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers and their inevitable expansion will continue, just like the common carp did. The battle against an invasive species is lost the day the critter enters in ballast water, a pet store, or an oxyegenated plastic bag. It does not matter if you are talking zebra mussels (remember those millinois on millions spent on studies), pythons or mean honey bees.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/09 at 06:59 AM

You surrender if you want. I would like to fight for the Great Lakes system and try to save them. You can throw your hands up in the air and go home if that suits you. As a fisherman I happen to value the environment. So I support the bill.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/09 at 07:57 PM

more political bs talk and spending money…either you shut them out or thier getting in….close the f’n locks.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/09 at 09:31 PM

Trickie Dickie must have his brother in law in on the deal. What happened to the Great Lake Czar? What are we paying him for? Oh thats right lets spend some more tax dallors. I forgot.Sorry.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/10 at 08:27 AM

gilinator: I applaud your commitment but I wish the politicians like Durbin had the same. But more important I wish they were honest. Durbin knows full well that funding for this type of bill has already been cut by $250 million dollars. And yet he goes ahead with these phoney press conferences. Any funding for the carp now comes at the expense of habitat restoration projects on the Great Lakes- projects that can actually do the lakes some good (that pot has about 210 million in it and carp are now siponing off 70- PRIOR to Durbins lastest). Instead, now these remaining projects will get the axe one by one to fund more carp studies. Actual projects that do something long term for the environment get killed so the politicians can use the money to buy votes with press conferences and sound bites.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/10 at 09:57 AM

Wish Durban would sponsor a bill to separate Chicago from downstate Illinois….what a Tool.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 02:33 PM

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