The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Asian Carp Saga Continues

I watched the live video feed from the public meeting in Ypsilanti, today to discuss plans and get recommendations on Asian carp control efforts.

Who was there: Senior representatives from
International Joint Commission;
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
U.S. Coast Guard;
Great Lakes states, provinces, municipalities and tribes
White House Council on Environmental Quality; and
Scientific experts

It seems that everyone (regardless of their personal interests) want to keep the invasive carp from establishing themselves in Lake Michigan. That was encouraging. What's disheartening is that there is little concensus on how that can be definitively accomplished.

Senator Debbie Stabenow made a personal appearance at the meeting and addressed the panel with not only a passionate defense of the lake, but with the offer of funds needed to solve this problem, to ensure that the carp never establish themselves in the lake. As I've mentioned here before, she has introduced legislation to keep the carp out of the lakes.

Well done, Senator Stabenow.

Today's meeting will be posted soon on this site:
and the February 12 meeting in Chicago is already archived there.

One very good idea that got around the 'close the locks/don't close the locks' polarizing argument was to back the carp up by eradicating them further back in the canals and to putting more barriers (either sonic or electric) further away from the lakeshore.

Almost $80 million has been allocated to keeping these invasive fish out of the Great Lakes.


  1. I can't help but wonder what might happen if we paid 800 Michigan ice fishermen/women $100,000 each to go get Asian Carp. Or put a bounty on carp of a certain size. I mean, we killed off the passenger pigeons, for heaven's sake. You'd think we'd have bumbled into a destructive relationship with these fish by now.

  2. Some adventurous souls have taken to fan boats on the Illinois River. The boats scare up the silver carp which jump out of the water. THEN, the people on the boats shoot them with arrows attached to ropes (to reel them in). They call it EXTREME AERIAL BOWFISHING. In this piece on
    the Field and Stream site, a carp actually jumped up and whacked a bow-fisherwoman in the face, breaking her jaw.

    Maybe the fish will continue to fight back?

    Maybe we can pay the fish to retreat ($80 million is a lot of money, even to a school of fish).

    I am disheartened by the way this problem has been handled.