Friday, January 28, 2011

Obama's Asian Carp Head Honcho is in Traverse City, Michigan

The Obama administration's Asian Carp point man, John Goss, is up north in Traverse City this week rappin' with the locals and other interested parties about what the US Government is doing to address the Asian Carp threat to the Great Lakes and the 7 billion dollar fishing industry.

I've talked a lot about the subject of the Asian carps...and I'll just recap by saying the fish are pretty aggressive eaters and tend to dominate any non-native eco-system they get into. And that would be bad for local Great Lakes species as well as the very lucrative fishing industries in the Great Lakes states.

Let's just say people don't want them in the Great Lakes.

Unfortunately, some scientists believe it may already be too late
and Asian Carp are already in Lake Michigan. They defend their research showing DNA samples beyond the barriers meant to keep them out of Lake Michigan...what's less certain is if there is a viable breeding population beyond the barriers yet.

So there's still a serious chance at stopping or slowing the invasion.

So it doesn't much help that the Army Corps is sort of dinking around, taking their time with a long term solution to separating the Mississippi and Great Lakes water-sheds to keep invasive species from crossing from either body to the other unchecked. Great Lakes fishermen are pretty irritated about the time-line of the study which will take until 2015.

"Too little, too late," is what local fishermen and environmentalists are saying about a $25 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study of the possible separation of the Mississippi River and Great Lakes watersheds.

The study, to conclude in 2015, is designed to provide Congress with feasible options for separating the watersheds to prevent transfer of aquatic nuisance species, including Asian carp.

So basically John Goss is making his Great Lakes tour, trying to project a sense of urgency to solve the problem pointing that the administration has already installed new fencing to keep the fish from making their way to Lake Michigan when rivers overflow during flooding, and they've installed a third electric barrier.

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