Latest Asian carp discovery conjures memories of nuclear Doomsday clock; is the dreaded Great Lakes invasion at hand?

State and federal officials are conducting a four-day search for live Asian carp in a lake near Chicago after repeatedly finding Asian carp DNA in waters connected to Lake Michigan.

The announcement that government scientists would look for live Asian carp in Lake Calumet is the latest ominous development in the federal government’s belated effort to keep these monstrous fish from invading the Great Lakes.  A Detroit Free Press article summarized the hunt for Asian carp.

The news that scientists continue to find Asian carp DNA in waters connected to Lake Michigan got me thinking about the Doomsday Clock that was so popular in the 1970s, when the U.S. and former Soviet Union were in the throes of a nuclear arms race.

Produced by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the Doomsday Clock warned the world about how close we were to nuclear Armageddon. (Currently, the Doomsday Clock sits at five minutes before the witching hour of midnight).

Asian silver carp in the Illinois River. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)

I think it’s time for an Asian carp Doomsday Clock for the Great Lakes. It would be a quick and easy way to alert and remind the public of how close we are to an Asian carp invasion of the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem.

If I were the timekeeper for an Asian carp Doomsday Clock, I’d set the time at about 5 minutes before the witching hour of midnight.

I fear scientists will soon discover that Asian carp are breeding in Lake Calumet and have established a beach-head from whence the fish can spread into Lake Michigan swim toward the other Great Lakes. This is just my personal opinion; I hope and pray that I’m wrong.

How about you? Where would you set the dial on an Asian carp Doomsday Clock.

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