Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

April 11, 2013

Editorial: Feds can't rest until Lakes safe from carp

A lot of people, from scientists to fishermen, have long suspected that at least some Asian carp have already found their way into the Great Lakes, though not yet in numbers large enough to establish breeding populations.

That suspicion was given credence recently when a scientific report written by experts who pioneered the use of genetic data to search for the aggressive fish essentially debunked government claims that many of the positive Asian carp DNA “hits” recorded in recent years came from sources like the excrement from birds that fed on carp in distant rivers.

And while the same scientists who authored the recent report say there is reason to hope the carp won’t reach critical mass, experience has shown that at every turn, the carp have gone further and established breeding populations faster than anyone thought they could.

That means efforts to sever all aquatic links between Chicago-area waterways where there may be carp and Lake Michigan must continue; anything less is a risk we can’t afford.

In the report, laboratory analysis turned up 58 positive hits for bighead or silver carp in the Chicago Area Waterway System — a network of rivers and canals linked directly to Lake Michigan — and six in western Lake Erie. Some of the Chicago DNA was found in Lake Calumet, where a live bighead carp was caught in 2010.

Sampling by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies also yielded positive results in the Chicago waterways. But while the government team acknowledges the presence of Asian carp genetic fingerprints, it disagrees that they necessarily signal the presence of live fish.

The issue is significant because it could influence the debate over whether to seal off Lake Michigan from Chicago-area waterways, a mammoth engineering task that would cost billions and take years to complete.

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot