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$500,000 Grant Will Protect Great Lakes From Asian Carp

$500,000 Grant Will Protect Great Lakes From Asian Carp

Asian carp have been spotted in the Great Lakes system — despite multiple electric barriers erected along the Chicago waterways designed to keep the fish out.

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation recently pledged $500,000 to find environmental solutions to prevent this ravenous species from threatening the Great Lakes’ ecosystem and jeopardizing the region’s $7 billion annual sports fishing industry.

Asian carp, capable of eating up to 40 percent of their body weight every day, have been working their way up the Mississippi River for decades.

Achieving sizes of up to 4-feet in length, carp destroy ecosystems by gorging themselves, and starving out other species.

“Chicago’s canals currently act as an ‘open door’ for invasive species to travel between two of America’s most important freshwater systems,” said William S. White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation.

While addressing the Chicago waterway problem is critically important, White said, so is addressing other entry points for invasive species across the basin.

In June, the Associated Press reported that, for the first time ever, a 20-pound bighead carp was caught by a fisherman in Illinois’s Lake Calumet, on the South Side of Chicago–beyond the electric fence, and only six miles from Lake Michigan.

The proposed prevention project will bring together all key interests – shippers, citizen groups, businesses, agencies, boaters, tribes, and others – to help evaluate options for re-separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi River systems, as the natural barriers between these two watersheds were removed during the last century.

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110 comments

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11:38PM PDT on Sep 15, 2010

Maybe the first step would be to ask the sport fishermen for a sizeable donation.
They maybe tasy as someone suggested but you will catch no more than 5% of them.
Hope you are successful and get enough people joining in!

5:39PM PDT on Sep 2, 2010

How did they get here?

12:20PM PDT on Sep 2, 2010

I don't really know how this fish will destroy the ecosystem but have to depend on the experts to tell the truth. Fact is, some idiot put this fish in the lakes to begin with and another idiot will come along and do the same thing. We have too many useless humans on this earth. It's great this foundation is going put up the money, but they better know what they are doing. Don't want to introduce another fish into the lake that will destroy the Carp but be worst for the ecosytem than the carp.

1:26AM PDT on Sep 2, 2010

Look on the bright side if you have to accept the inevitable - Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and even our Eurasian common carp (Cyprinus carpio) can both provide tasty meals if cooked properly.

I have eaten sweet and sour bighead carp in China - delicious firm flesh. Also possibly ideal for fish'n'chips I would think, in addition to the usual perch and whitefish that have been used in Ontario. Even the Eurasian common carp (Cyprinus carpio) can be excellent if curried as in Bangladesh or stewed with tomatoes, onions and herbs as in the Near East.

Don't carp on about carp just tuck in and you may even eradicate them in the same way as the once abundant cod stocks.

10:03PM PDT on Aug 31, 2010

Invasive species such as this are pretty dangerous. We need to act now!

7:34AM PDT on Aug 31, 2010

These carp are nasty! We need more political action as well as more money.

7:03PM PDT on Aug 30, 2010

i think there going to need more money,but its a start,this has the potential to be very devastating.

6:21PM PDT on Aug 30, 2010

Invasive, and awful, shouldn't be here and better find a way to get rid of them. Could these awful carp be caught and used as a food source for something? I do not know.

4:49PM PDT on Aug 30, 2010

Thanks for the info.

2:28PM PDT on Aug 30, 2010

We need to find a parasite or virus that hurts only Asian carp and unleash that on 'em.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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