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Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

Illinois Outdoors


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Carp barrier, poisoning a boondoggle?

December 03, 2009 at 07:47 AM

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has already spent millions on an electric fish barrier that may or may not work.

Now another reported $2 million is being spent to poison the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

All that money is being poured out in an effort to keep Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes—something these voracious fish have probably already done.

No wonder Chicago Sun-Times columnist Dale Bowman is calling the barrier, “a shocking boondoggle.”

Writes Bowman:

The establishment of an electrical fish barrier on the Sanitary and Ship Canal is easily the single greatest boondoggle in the Chicago outdoors, now costing well over $10 million.

Click here to read Bowman’s full column on this subject.

To me the whole thing is kind of a slap in the face for the rest of the state. In no other place would so much money be spent to prevent the spread of fish or other critters. No similar effort has ever been made to stop invasive species from leaving the Great Lakes and coming downstate. And don’t tell me the barrier effectively serves the same purpose. The intent was to stop Asian carp, not to stop other species from moving downstream.

UPDATE: I had a different last line here when this was posted this morning. Then I got a can of Diet Mountain Dew and felt less grouchy. So I pulled it. In truth, this is a Great Lakes issue. But I still believe it’s a waste of money. Why not spend the $12 million on finding a way to deal with Asian carp? Why not set up processing plants? They are going to get into the Great Lakes.





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