The Canadian government on July 12 released a report that said Asian carp will likely invade Lake Michigan, from whence the fish could spread to all five Great Lakes. Read more here.
The claims that the Great Lakes are too cold, or don’t have enough fish food to support Asian carp? Nonsense, according to the report by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Read the report here.
This study comes just days after the U.S. government announced it had found more Asian carp DNA in a lake near Chicago that is connected to Lake Michigan. Federal officials this week were dragging Lake Calumet to see if there are live Asian carp in the waterway.
The U.S. government and private companies imported Asian carp to commercial fish farms in Arkansas in the 1960s and ’70s. The fish escaped manmade ponds in the 1980s and have been swimming toward the Great Lakes since.
Asian carp can grow to 100 pounds and one species – silver carp – rockets out of the water when disturbed by the sound of boat motors. The fish could devastate the $7 billion Great Lakes fishery and endanger boaters.
These menacing fish are the most ominous threat to the Great Lakes since zebra and quagga mussels invaded and thrust the ecosystems of all but Lake Superior into a state of biological chaos.
Given the urgency and significance of this crisis, you would think the government would be declaring all out war on Asian carp.
Federal officials continue to monitor for Asian carp in the manmade canals that connect Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River basin. And they kill Asian carp when they find the beasts.
But there is no permanent solution yet. That’s years away.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will study how best to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes until the end of 2013.