Action Needed On Asian Carp

Government agencies must move quickly to keep Asian carp from invading Lake Michigan!

03-17-2010 // Jeff Alexander
Government agencies must move quickly and aggressively to keep Asian carp from invading Lake Michigan and devastating the Great Lakes $7 billion fishery, according to Marc Smith, the National Wildlife Federation's state policy manager in Michigan.

Smith appeared recently on "Deadline NOW," a public affairs program broadcast on WGTE in Toledo, to discuss the threat Asian carp pose to the Great Lakes fishery and the region’s $16 billion tourism industry.

Asian carp DNA was recently found in Lake Michigan, near Chicago, but there is not yet a reproducing population of the menacing fish anywhere in the Great Lakes. That's what NWF is trying to prevent, Smith said.

"If they are allowed into the Great Lakes we could see our Great Lakes become giant carp ponds," Smith said. "(Asian carp) basically eat everything. They take all the food away from all the other fish -- the fish we care about."

The massive fish, some of which rocket out of the water when disturbed by boat motors, were imported to commercial fish farms in Arkansas in the 1970s.

The Asian bighead carp and silver carp have been migrating toward Lake Michigan since the late 1980s, when the Mississippi River flooded and gave the invaders an aquatic highway to the Great Lakes.

Watch the show to learn what must be done to keep Asian carp from colonizing Lake Michigan and laying siege to the Great Lakes fishery.
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