Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm with the states on this one:

Despite being rebuffed twice by the U.S. Supreme Court, five states filed suit Monday with a lower court demanding tougher federal and municipal action to prevent Asian carp from overrunning the Great Lakes and decimating their fishing industry.

Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota and Pennsylvania said in their complaint the situation had become more dire since a live bighead carp was found last month in a Chicago-area waterway only 6 miles from where it meets Lake Michigan — well past an electric barrier designed to block the voracious fish's path. (...)

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in northern Illinois. It accuses the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago of creating a public nuisance by operating locks, gates and other infrastructure through which the carp could enter the lakes.
That argument didn't convince the nation's highest court to order the locks closed earlier this year despite two requests from Michigan and other states. But the justices' rulings were procedural and did not deal with the merits of the case, Cox's spokeswoman Joy Yearout said.

The discovery of a 20-pound carp in Lake Calumet on Chicago's South Side might make a federal judge more inclined to rule favorably, said Nick Schroeck, executive director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center at Wayne State University. Previously, Michigan and the other states based their request largely on DNA evidence that critics dismissed as unreliable. (...)

The Army Corps has refused to close shipping locks and gates on the waterways, saying there's no guarantee that doing so would keep the carp out of the lake. Industries that rely on shipping say closing the locks would injure the regional economy.
"Politically motivated lawsuits are not going to solve the problem," said Jim Farrell, an executive with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. "The fish barrier is working. We've found one fish north of the barrier in 10 months of searching."
One in, they will be impossible to get out. It's reasonable to shut down the locks until the carp can be "chased back" a hundred miles or so.

The Army Corp have repeatedly said that there efforts (e.g. electric barriers, poison) would stop the migration. They have failed to do so.


Apparently those carp are a delicacy in Asian countries. If it turns out that fisherman can get a premium for those big carp, then, with government approval, I have full faith in their ability to fish them to extinction.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/20/2010 6:42 AM  

It's too late they're already here!
The two watersheds (Mississippi & Great Lakes) are connected by a marsh in Indiana.

The following is from
(Sorry, but you'll have to go to the Google cached copy)

"Those voracious invasive fish, Asian Carp, have another possible point of entry to Ohio and Lake Erie.
A spawning population of the silver carp has been found in the Wabash River in Indiana near Fort Wayne. That puts them very close to the Ohio border and to a stream, called the Little Tributary. If the Little Tributary has a major flood, the fish could conceivably swim about a mile east and get into the Maumee River system."

By Anonymous Rockie the Dog, at 7/20/2010 7:55 AM  

Nothing stops carp, regardless of species. The Yakima River in Washington state is filled with them. They're bottom-feeders and slimy to the touch, and I can't imagine why anyone would want to eat them.

By Anonymous Screamin' Demon, at 7/20/2010 9:13 AM  

Apparently those carp are a delicacy in Asian countries.

They sell well in the Asian and Polish communities in Chicago. Not enough to eat them out of existence, though.

FYI Illinois is fighting this because closing the waterways is akin to closing I-80 to trucks. The freight traffic on the canals is HUGE.

It's an awful lose-lose situation.

By Blogger JDo, at 7/20/2010 3:00 PM  

Compared to Republican carping, this is serious. Do we fish, or cut bait? The feds have jurisdiction.

By Blogger Shag from Brookline, at 7/21/2010 3:43 AM  

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