Lake Michigan’s Impending Asian Carp Crisis

The drumbeat gets louder.

On Friday, June 23, a live Asian silver carp passed through the fish barrier and was caught by a fisherman in a waterway only 9 miles from Lake Michigan. The three electric fish barriers, located southwest of Chicago, were designed to stop the invasive species from swimming north to Lake Michigan.

Of the four varieties of Asian carp, the bighead and the silver are the main threats to the Great Lakes. The most concerning of these dangers is the carps’ disruption of the food web, which would drastically reduce the numbers of game fish, impacting not only the livelihood of Michigan business people and our $7 billion fishing industry, but also the enjoyment of one of the most cherished pastimes of residents and visitors alike.

Both Republican Representative Bill Huizenga and Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow released statements this week regarding the discovery, and are working together on the effort to stop the advance of the Asian carp. The health of the entire Great Lakes ecosystem is at stake.

For a more comprehensive look into the devastating effects of Asian carp and the plans for solutions, refer to this article by editor Jeff Smith, featured in Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine: Can Asian Carp Be Stopped From Destroying the Great Lakes?


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