People who spoke in Traverse City were virtually unanimous in support of complete separation.
“These fish are terrorists,” said Charles Weaver, a river fishing guide. “They don’t wear ski masks and they don’t carry AK-47s, but they have just as much potential to disrupt our society, our culture, economy. When you have terrorists on the radar, you don’t study it for 18 months and you don’t come up with 25-year plans. You take care of the problem now.”
Warren Fuller of nearby Leelanau County added, “We’re in an emergency. Inaction is going to kill us.”
U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, both Michigan Democrats, also called for dividing the watersheds and shortening the schedule. They said in interviews they were optimistic that the region could unite behind one plan.
Levin said lawmakers from the region would press the Corps to take short-term steps to strengthen defenses against the carp while continuing to refine a blueprint for physical separation.
“We all stand to lose, and certainly Illinois stands to lose as much as Michigan, if these fish get into Lake Michigan,” Stabenow said.