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Old 06-24-2010, 02:26 PM   #1
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Asian Carp in the Great Lakes !!!

TAKEN FROM YAHOO HOMEPAGE



CHICAGO – An Asian carp was found for the first time beyond electric barriers meant to keep the voracious invasive species out of the Great Lakes, state and federal officials said Wednesday, prompting renewed calls for swift action to block their advance.


Commercial fishermen landed the 3-foot-long, 20-pound bighead carp in Lake Calumet on Chicago's South Side, about six miles from Lake Michigan, according to the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.

Officials said they need more information to determine the significance of the find.

"The threat to the Great Lakes depends on how many have access to the lakes, which depends on how many are in the Chicago waterway right now," said John Rogner, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

But environmental groups said the discovery leaves no doubt that other Asian carp have breached barriers designed to prevent them from migrating from the Mississippi River system to the Great Lakes and proves the government needs to act faster.

"If the capture of this live fish doesn't confirm the urgency of this problem, nothing will," said Andy Buchsbaum, director of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes office.

Scientists and fishermen fear that if the carp become established in the lakes, they could starve out popular sport species and ruin the region's $7 billion fishing industry. Asian Carp can grow to 4 feet and 100 pounds and eat up to 40 percent of their body weight daily.

Rogner, from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, estimated that the male carp was about 3 to 4 years old. It was caught live but has since been killed and will be sent to the University of Illinois to determine if it was artificially raised or naturally bred.

The fish was sexually mature, but Lake Calumet's conditions aren't conducive to reproduction because the water is too still, Rogner said. Even so, the lake is the ideal living environment for the fish because it's quiet and near a river system, he added.

"It fits the model to a T," he said. "They may be concentrated in that area."

Officials said they'll use electrofishing and netting to remove any Asian carp from the lake.

They have been migrating up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers toward the Great Lakes for decades.

There are no natural connections between the lakes and the Mississippi basin. More than a century ago, engineers linked them with a network of canals and existing rivers to reverse the flow of the Chicago River and keep waste from flowing into Lake Michigan, which Chicago uses for drinking water.

Two electric barriers, which emit pulses to scare the carp away or give a jolt if they proceed, are a last line of defense. The Army corps plans to complete another one this year.

"Is it disturbing? Extraordinarily. Is it surprising? No," Joel Brammeier, president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, said of the carp's discovery beyond the barriers.

He said the capture highlights the need to permanently sever the link between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. The Army Corps is studying alternatives, but says the analysis will take years.

"Invaders will stop at nothing short of bricks and mortar, and time is running short to get that protection in place," Brammeier said.

In Michigan, officials renewed their demand to shut down two shipping locks on the Chicago waterways that could provide a path to Lake Michigan. The U.S. Supreme Court has twice rejected the state's request to order the locks closed, but state Attorney General Mike Cox said he was considering more legal action.

"Responsibility for this potential economic and ecological disaster rests solely with President Obama," Cox said. "He must take action immediately by ordering the locks closed and producing an emergency plan to stop Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan."

A Chicago-based industry coalition called Unlock Our Jobs said the discovery of a single carp did not justify closing the locks. Doing so would damage the region's economy and kill jobs without guaranteeing that carp would be unable to reach the lakes, spokesman Mark Biel said.

"A few isolated incidents of Asian carp in this small section of the Illinois Waterway does not mean existing barriers have failed," said Biel, also executive director of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois. "Additional regulatory controls and river barriers should be explored before permanent lock closure is even considered."
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:38 PM   #2
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This is a huge political fiasco. I'm an avid fisherman and I've been hearing about this for a few years now. The big electric barrier is a joke. It's been known for years that the fish can get around it via the river when the canal floods.

They've poisoned two rivers here and found one fish. The others all sank supposedly. On top of that, there's little proof that asian carp will survive, let alone thrive in Lake Michigan. They do well in the muddy, nutrient-rich rivers around here. Lake Michigan is cold and clear. The invasive zebra mussels filter the water, removing a lot of the nutrients that the filter-feeding asian carp need. Hopefully one invasive species will keep another in check here.

I really don't understand why Michigan doesn't sue the southern catfish farmers that released the carp in the first place. The carp were brought in to keep the farm ponds clear and they escaped when the ponds flooded.

Asian carp have been found accidentally stocked in ponds all over Chicago. I've heard that they're in Lake Erie already and I haven't heard about Lake Erie crashing. The more I hear, the more skeptical I become about the severity of this situation.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:44 PM   #3
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Ive been hearing for years on this topic that carps destroy the population and overpopulate the native speices 10 to 1 idk but if one got caught that is 4 years old i wonder how long was it there for and why has only one been caught hopfully it doesnt mess the industry up
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:55 PM   #4
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There's a big difference between common carp and asian carp.

Common carp root around in the mud, eating whatever they stir up. They were brought here a long time ago by European immigrants as a food source. They breed prolifically and they hurt native fish populations by stirring up nests and eating eggs. They're already established in Lake Michigan.

Asian carp are filter feeders. There are two types currently in Illinois. The bighead carp gets huge. The silver carp is the one everyone is worried about. Anytime there's a disturbance like an electric current or a boat motor, the silver carp launches itself out of the water. They've actually killed people. Both species can spawn up to three times a year.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:41 PM   #5
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I remember this being on the news last year and in the newspaper too; it was a big controversy. Had me worried for a while but there is so much going on with aquatic life I just hate it
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:28 PM   #6
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To touch on what BigJim said, they did poison two rivers and killed 100,000 fish. None of them were asian carp.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:40 PM   #7
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They did find one asian carp in the canal. None were found in the Little Calumet. The state at least decided restock the game fish in the Little Calumet.
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:14 PM   #8
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Wow that is so messed up i wish theres away to check be4 they poision
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:58 AM   #9
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There are ways to check, but it's just a small sample. On River Monsters, I saw an electroshock sampling being done and the silver carp jumping like mad. The poisoning is more of a political move than anything. Too many people with not enough information.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
There are ways to check, but it's just a small sample. On River Monsters, I saw an electroshock sampling being done and the silver carp jumping like mad. The poisoning is more of a political move than anything. Too many people with not enough information.

Exactly. Just another knee-jerk reaction by the government.
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