The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Poisons and Nets and Shocks

The Asian carp were imported to eat algae in fish farms and sanitation pools and were flushed by floods into the Mississippi River.

The Asian carp have been spawning and spreading from the waters of the southern Mississippi River for decades.

So, for decades they have been reproducing and migrating up the Mississippi, supplanting native fish.

So -- HUGE leap of logic -- the Asian carp have made their way to the rivers and canals around Chicago. They've even been able to get past the electric barriers set up kind of last minute to stop them from entering Lake Michigan.

So, now, poisons and nets and shocks will be employed to keep them from colonizing the Great Lakes. Poisoning in the Cal-Sag channel will begin on May 20. Nets and electro-fishing will be employed along the Chicago River soon.

I find it hard to believe that a more elegant solution wasn't available sooner. Like, maybe, only using male fish in the ponds in the first place (if they escape, they can't reproduce). Or, maybe, doing one poisoning immediately following the flood that spilled these voracious fish from the other side of the world into the Mississippi. Maybe they could have been dealt with at the source instead of letting them colonize hundreds of miles of waterways.

This is, of course, hindsight.

I'm just a little put out that these fish are now knocking on the door to my lake, Lake Michigan.

Poisons and Nets and Shocks, indeed.

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