An Illinois radio station recently produced a news story about how anglers can help rein in the Asian carp population in the Illinois River by fishing the heck out of the species. It’s the “If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em” approach to controlling Asian carp.
It’s an interesting counterattack against an invasive species, but I’m skeptical about our ability to eat our way out of the Asian carp crisis. Here’s why: Asian carp now comprise 63 percent of all fish biomass in the Illinois River.
In other words, two-thirds of all fish in the Illinois River — by weight – are Asian carp. That is a remarkable, alarming statistic.
Worse, the plague of Asian carp laying siege to the Illinois River — and much of the Mississippi River basin — is closing in on the Great Lakes. Breeding populations of Asian carp can be found just 50 miles from Lake Michigan.
The Asian carp’s domination of the Illinois River underscores why government agencies must do everything in their power to keep the menacing invaders from storming the Great Lakes.
There is much debate about whether state and federal agencies doing enough to prevent an Asian carp invasion in the Great Lakes. What do you think?
And if you’re wondering why there is so much hoopla over keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, check out this video. As you’re watching it, imagine the hellish it captured playing out in your favorite lake or river in the Great Lakes basin.