Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Asian carp. No halfway jobs are acceptable.

The only thing worse than doing nothing to stop this invasive species is a halfway job like this.

From the Argus

Federal officials said Monday they are attacking Asian carp on all fronts and preparing to spend $78.5 million to do it.

Plans include intermittent lock closures, which could begin by the end of April, and adding more crews to hunt down and destroy Asian carp before large numbers of them can make it into the Great Lakes.
The battery of techniques they plan to use includes sonar equipment, electro-shocking, netting, and expedited testing for carp DNA.
They'll spend $3 million to make the ugly, voracious fish attractive as fish fillets. They will also expand research on carp-specific poisons, sound barriers to deter the fish and methods to disrupt their spawning. A number of federal agencies issued a 46-page report with short and long-term plans for fighting carp as a White House summit with Great Lakes governors was under way.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm said she and other Great Lakes governors insisted Monday during a summit at the White house that Chicago-area locks must be closed quickly, even if short-term, to deal with carp.
Although federal officials included intermittent lock closures—as much as three weeks per month—as a potential solution, that is not enough, said Granholm. "I think there's enough DNA evidence now to shut them down," said Granholm, who added that she does not support the idea of part-time lock closures.

The entire Michigan delegation united on this issue. That alone tells you how big of a deal this is. Just about everyone is on board except Obama not wanting to hurt his big money buddies in the concrete jungle of Chicago. 

Intermittent lock closures are a joke. If you have a squirrel getting in your bird feeder, you don't take the baffle off of the feeder one week a month. The squirrel will get through. It's what they do. If you want to keep deer out, you don't put up a five foot fence. They will jump it. For once I agree with Granholm. Close this down, get rid of the bottomfeeders, and then open it up.

How big of deal is this? Gigantic. This up to 100lb fish gets 40% of its bodyweight each day. This will starve out the fish in our great lakes. Trout. Salmon. Perch.Whitefish. Walleye. This is a $4Billion dollar industry, and these carp are a major threat to that economy. I don't want to lose our fishing to a damn carp of all things.

Not only are the Great Lakes at risk, but so are the inland waters. Most, if not all of the rivers and streams in Michigan are connected to the Great Lakes. In Livingston County, the Huron River eventually flows to Lake Erie. The Red Cedar and Looking Glass Rivers flows eventually via the Grand River to Lake Michigan. The Shiawassee River flows eventually into Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron. The carp likely wouldn't go this far inland with the dams, but they could cause some problems flowing upstream in those rivers near the coast. That'll hurt the economy even more.

Take em out of the Illinois Waterway.

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