ASIAN CARP another Threat to our Great Lakes Ecosystem
Asian Carp were brought to this country to keep the Algae under control in the catfish farms in our southern states. Eventually due to floods the Asian Carp washed out and entered the Mississippi River becoming a major threat to our Ecosystem. These fish have over run the river and are now as far north as Chicago. It is said that in some sections in the Midwest that these fish make up 90% of the biomass. Being voracious eaters they can grow from 60 to 100lbs. These fish can consume food (up to 40% of their body weight) that was there to support the existing aquatic life and greatly impact our Great Lakes Ecosystem. You may have seen these fish on television. They are the ones that leap out of the water at the sound of approaching boats. Broken noses have been reported from being hit by a carp while boating.
The Carp have migrated up the Mississippi and Lake Michigan is about to be invaded by these fish. An electronic barrier has been installed in the Chicago shipping canal, but reports are that there has been a breech of this barrier. Scientists fear that the carp could decimate the $7 billion sport fishing industry on the Great Lakes as well as permanently damage the ecosystem.
I am calling on all of you sport fishing folks to get educated on this and prepare for a battle. The reason should simply be to protect our Ecosystem, but if that doesn't get you going how about a $7 billion dollar deficit to our economy due to a decline in our sport fishery. Contact your local Trout Unlimited Chapter for more info. They will be glad to fill you in.
The Army Corps of Engineers are holding "town meetings" to review what should be done in the short and long term. Your voice is needed. For those of you in the Cleveland area it will be held in the Great Lakes Science Center January 13, 2011 2 to 8pm. In Cincinnati it will be at the Tangeman University Center Tuesday, February 1, 2011 2 to 8pm.
Important You must preregister in order for you voice to be heard. Also, if you can't attend one of these you can submit your comments on Army Corps site.