Asian carp DNA found in Lake Michigan

It amazes me that the $7 billion dollar commercial and recreational industry of Lake Michigan could be permanently harmed because Chicago and the United States Supreme Court will not do more to stop the possibility of Asian carp invading the world’s largest fresh water system.

“The two species of Asian carp detected in the area are bighead and the leaping silver carp. The fish can grow to 50 pounds and consume up to 20% of their weight in plankton per day – food upon which every other species in a water system either directly or indirectly depends.”

Their presence could potentially devastate the ecology and potentially change the way we recreationally enjoy the lake(s). Silver carp can jump up to 10 feet out of the water when disturbed by boats. The carp have been known to injure boaters as they jumped out of the water.

Yet the Supreme Court announced today that they have rejected Michigan’s preliminary injunction. Michigan, backed by Wisconsin, New York, Ohio and Minnesota was seeking an emergency injunction force the gate locks shut on an emergency basis, but was also seeking a number of other measures.

And today the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Asian carp DNA has been detected in Lake Michigan. This madness needs to stop immediately. Why are we willing to forgo the long-term ecology of our fresh water system?

Everyone should be concerned with this issue. Temporarily closing the two lakeside locks will disrupt business but it could preserve both our economy and natural resources. The locks represent the last ditch effort to save our lakes until we can implement additional safety measures and act on the real issue – the invasive carp.

Until then, we need to do whatever it takes to save the Great Lakes. And unfortunately our nations leaders are too short-sighted to make the right decision.

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