Traverse City Record-Eagle

Other Views

May 2, 2012

Another View: Action needed against carp

It's hard to think of anything more unifying for Great Lakes state politicians than the desire to stop Asian carp from invading our waters.

Republicans like U.S. Rep. Candice Miller and Democrats like U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who otherwise have few things in common politically, will come together like old school chums at the mention of the invasive species. That's because it's obvious to virtually everyone in this state that Asian carp, which have spread everywhere else, cannot spread to our Great Lakes.

Lawmakers recently united again to announce a bipartisan bill that will try to force the hand of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to speed up its study of the species and do what is necessary to stop it. Making recommendations by the year 2015 is foolishly too late and unacceptable.

In fact, we're not sure how much study needs to be done considering the disastrous results that Michigan outdoor lovers could one day wake up to if the species is not stopped in the waters of northern Illinois.

While federal officials consider the minor consequences of attacking the plague in northern Illinois, our state is dumbfounded by the inaction.

The latest to come from Army Corps experts is an expansion of its list of methods to kill the carp. It has now added freezing or drying sections of waterways or using carbon dioxide pellets to kill the fish. Previously announced options include overfishing, ultraviolet light, water guns and introducing native predators.

It's time to quickly pick a method and begin killing Asian carp in northern Illinois before the species migrates into southern Lake Michigan.

There is no satisfaction in saying, "I told you so," several years from now.

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