The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Monday, May 31, 2010

Asian Carp Containment Measures Working?

There was another big fish kill in the Little Calumet River on the south side of Chicago this past week. Floating fish were collected and this time even the dead fish that sank to the bottom were retrieved by divers.


NO Asian carp found in the 10,000 pounds of dead fish in the treated 2-mile stretch. This is good news, but continued monitoring and containment measures need to be in place.

A third electric barrier is under construction and will add to the gauntlet these invasive fish must run to reach the lake. Will it be enough? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, the invasive round goby (photo below) has displaced the perch in Lake Michigan in the last ten years. During my Lake Trek, I spoke with anyone casting a line into the water. Everywhere I went, the story was the same: the perch were going or gone because of the gobies.

There is still a demand for perch, though, so one innovative company is raising the fish in massive tanks in an old warehouse in Milwaukee.

It's kind of sad when the lake is no longer safe for fish.

Let's make sure the Asian carp never get into Lake Michigan.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Revisiting the Lake Trek: Segment 10!

This segment spanned the final 102 miles between Milwaukee and Chicago. It took me 6 days to hike.

A crowd gathered at the end of Navy Pier to greet me at the end of my Lake Trek of 1,000 miles. I'll always cherish that moment when a cheer went up as I reached the end of this adventure. A huge thanks to friends and family and people who just love Lake Michigan who celebrated the completion of my Lake Trek.

Note: You may want to press the 'play' button, then pause it and let it completely load before resuming play. This will allow it to play smoothly.

You can find all videos from the Lake Trek on YouTube at:

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.