Live Asian Carp Found Nine Miles from Lake Michigan

Posted on June 29, 2017 by

On June 22nd a live silver carp was caught in the Calumet River on Chicago’s south side, approximately 9 miles from Lake Michigan and well beyond the electric barrier network designed to prevent invasive fish from reaching Lake Michigan. This event is a wake-up call; we can’t wait any longer to act.

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced the Stop Asian Carp Now Act on June 21st alongside a group of bipartisan cosponsors from Michigan, Ohio, New York, and Wisconsin. A companion bill was also introduced in the House. This legislation would require the Trump Administration to release The Brandon Road Study, a report authored by the Army Corps of Engineers that details the first step in preventing the spread of Asian Carp. This report is essential to keeping invasive Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes, and Congress must act before it’s too late.

By delaying the release of the Brandon Road Study, the Trump Administration recklessly shortens the window we have to prevent a large scale invasion of all five Great Lakes. Redesigning and renovating the Brandon Road lock and dam is an essential component to preventing billions of dollars of economic damage and incalculable ecological turmoil.

According to ecologists, the invasive carp species poised to make the leap into Lake Michigan will outcompete prized native species and game fish such as walleye, lake trout, sturgeon, perch, and largemouth bass. Decimated fish populations will cause the collapse of both the commercial and recreational fishing industries that together contribute over $7 billion to local Great Lakes economies. Also at risk are the $16 billion boating industry and the $18 billion hunting and wildlife observation industry.

Unlike other invasive species like the sea lamprey, experts warn that there will be no practical population control measures immediately available if any of the Asian Carp species lurking just beyond the Chicago electric barriers escape. They will multiply, spread, and congregate in shallow waters near coastlines where they will disrupt the lives of millions of residents and tourists who depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water, recreation, and economic stability.

Tell your representatives that we can’t wait any longer. The Brandon Road Study provides the best information about how to keep invasive Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes, and Congress must act before it’s too late. Click here to email your senators and representative; tell them to support the Stop Asian Carp Now Act.


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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.