Asian Carp Caught, But the Fight Isn't Over

asian carp caught

The day we all hoped wouldn't come is here: An Asian carp has been confirmed in Illinois. One was caught in Lake Calumet, which runs into Lake Michigan, officials announced today. 

"Michigan citizens have fought long and hard to prevent this incredibly detrimental invasive from invading the Great Lakes and destroying the ecosystem and a key portion of the Michigan economy," said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

The Great Lakes fishery is valued at $7 billion, with about 800,000 associated jobs. 

"Politics has once again gotten in the way of sound policy," Wozniak added. 

"There are no reasons that the economic concerns of one city, Chicago, should threaten the whole Great Lakes basin. 
 
"Studies upon studies have shown the need to deter the carp and that the Mississippi and Great Lakes should be separated to do this.
 
"It's a super highway for invasives. But the desire for more and more studies has eaten up time and it's caught up to us now."
 
But the fight against the Asian carp will continue, and it's one more reason to support efforts to hold our leaders accountable in Lansing, and with the National LCV, in Washington, D.C.
 
A bighead carp has been caught. That should catch our attention today and in the days to come. 
 
UPDATE: On Wednesday, June 30, one week after the discovery of a live Asian carp in Lake Calumet, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Dick Durbin (D-ILL) introduced the Permanent Prevention of Asian Carp Act to the Senate. Accompanying legislation was introduced in the House by Michigan Representative Dave Camp. The Act would require a complete study on the possibility of permanent hydrological separation of the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River watershed to be completed in 18 months. Environmental groups have also appealed to President Obama, to lead a coordinated effort to combat the carp’s imminent invasion. 

In recent weeks, a large spawning population of Asian carp have also been discovered in the Wabash River near Logansport, Indiana. The close proximity of the Wabash and Maumee River watersheds have sparked fears that a flood could easily allow the carp to invade the Maumee River, which drains into Lake Erie, giving the fish another access point into the Great Lakes.

 

--- Image via AP