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PoliCon
02-10-2010, 11:20 AM
Asian Carp Hearings Divide Great Lakes States
Environment > Great Lakes
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Written By: E. J. Donovan
Publication date: 02/10/2010
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

Invasive Asian carp are poised to enter the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River system through two Chicago-area locks, aquatic experts warned at a House subcommittee hearing yesterday. While Great Lakes states such as Michigan and Wisconsin have been pressing for a closure of the locks, the Obama administration continues to side with officials from his home state of Illinois, who claim closing the locks would hurt Illinois’ shipping industry.

An Asian carp invasion would devastate the Great Lakes ecosystems, aquatic experts warn. The large, ravenous fish have multiplied rapidly and quickly taken over as the dominant fish in much of the Mississippi River basin. Conservationists fear there would be no reversing the damage once the invasive species enter the Great Lakes.

Asian carp have already advanced to within a few miles of Lake Michigan. Illinois is using electrical barriers in an attempt to keep the carp out of Lake Michigan, but environmental DNA tests show at least a few carp have made it through the barriers. Many scientists, together with a coalition of Great Lakes states, are calling for the federal government to shut down the two locks connecting the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan.

Illinois counters that closing the locks will severely impair shipping traffic, cutting off the Mississippi River as an avenue for Great Lakes shipping traffic. Electrical barriers are sufficient to keep the carp from becoming a menace in the Great Lakes, Illinois claims. The Obama administration has put its weight behind Illinois, rejecting requests to close the locks.

The locks are “a two-way highway for many species,” Professor David Lodge, director of the Center for Aquatic Conservation at the University of Notre Dame, testified yesterday at hearings in front of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment.

“We must act swiftly, collaboratively, and wisely,” agreed Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment Director Rebecca Humphries.

Del Wilkins, vice president of terminal operations for the Illinois-based Canal Barge Co., countered that the carp can be kept out of the Great Lakes through electrical barriers and other measures short of shutting down the locks.

“The question of whether to protect the environment or ensure the continued flow of vital maritime commerce is an unnecessary choice and one our nation cannot afford to make,” Wilkins said.

Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) bucked the position of Wisconsin environmental officials and agreed with Wilkins.

“There must be a way to do it in a way that does not hurt the economy of one of our Great Lakes neighbors,” said Petri.

FROM (http://www.heartland.org/full/26988/Asian_Carp_Hearings_Divide_Great_Lakes_States.html )

Apocalypse
02-10-2010, 11:26 AM
Here's a question, and I hate to side with 0 on it.

If you close the locks to keep the carp out, then what. You can't kill the carp without wiping out all other fish in the river, so the carp are there to stay. So the alternative is closing the locks permanently to keep the fish out of the lakes.

So what would be the better choice here?

Gingersnap
02-10-2010, 11:54 AM
Here's a question, and I hate to side with 0 on it.

If you close the locks to keep the carp out, then what. You can't kill the carp without wiping out all other fish in the river, so the carp are there to stay. So the alternative is closing the locks permanently to keep the fish out of the lakes.

So what would be the better choice here?

Carp are tasty, tasty fish. Have the State pay a bounty of 25 cents per carp head (or whatever makes sense). Limit the offer to downstream carp caught no closer than 10 miles below the lake. In a few years you could have a thriving fish cake industry and the carp would become an endangered species. :D

noonwitch
02-10-2010, 12:07 PM
Carp are tasty, tasty fish. Have the State pay a bounty of 25 cents per carp head (or whatever makes sense). Limit the offer to downstream carp caught no closer than 10 miles below the lake. In a few years you could have a thriving fish cake industry and the carp would become an endangered species. :D



Our AG sued Illinois and the USSC ruled in Illinois' favor on this matter. I'm for closing the locks down, myself, but it's a no-win situation for Michigan and Wisconsin.

I like your idea, though. It's better than nothing. Those asian carp are huge, too.

For some reason, the zebra mussells that have infected the lakes over the past decade or so have been dying off for the last couple of years. They came from ballast water exchanges, too, as did those evil-looking lamphrey eels. I'm starting to wonder of the species immediately breed to excess as a survival mechanism when they are exposed to non-native environments, and then start to die off because the environment is not ultimately hospitable to their long-term existence in that place. I'm not a scientist, just someone who wonders about that kind of thing.


Someday, when the archeologists of the future dig up the Great Lakes, they are going to have enough trouble explaining why there were so many dead octopi remains found in the Detroit River.

Gingersnap
02-10-2010, 12:37 PM
Our AG sued Illinois and the USSC ruled in Illinois' favor on this matter. I'm for closing the locks down, myself, but it's a no-win situation for Michigan and Wisconsin.

I like your idea, though. It's better than nothing. Those asian carp are huge, too.

For some reason, the zebra mussells that have infected the lakes over the past decade or so have been dying off for the last couple of years. They came from ballast water exchanges, too, as did those evil-looking lamphrey eels. I'm starting to wonder of the species immediately breed to excess as a survival mechanism when they are exposed to non-native environments, and then start to die off because the environment is not ultimately hospitable to their long-term existence in that place. I'm not a scientist, just someone who wonders about that kind of thing.

Someday, when the archeologists of the future dig up the Great Lakes, they are going to have enough trouble explaining why there were so many dead octopi remains found in the Detroit River.

Why are there dead octopi remains? :confused:

noonwitch
02-10-2010, 01:21 PM
Why are there dead octopi remains? :confused:


During the NHL playoffs, whenever the Red Wings score a goal, someone in the audience throws a dead octopus onto the ice. The staff at Joe Louis Arena just throw them into the river afterwards. When we play Chicago in playoffs, fish markets in the Chicago area won't sell freshly killed octopus to anyone with a Michigan driver's license.

That might not be much of a problem this year, if the team doesn't start getting it together.

PoliCon
02-10-2010, 02:14 PM
Someday, when the archeologists of the future dig up the Great Lakes, they are going to have enough trouble explaining why there were so many dead octopi remains found in the Detroit River. just a FYI - as invertebrates they don't exactly leave remains. :p

Gingersnap
02-10-2010, 02:28 PM
just a FYI - as invertebrates they don't exactly leave remains. :p

They have that beak thing.

PoliCon
02-10-2010, 07:22 PM
They have that beak thing.

I'm not an expert or anything but I believe when you buy it - the beak has been removed. . . .