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America’s Great Lakes And The Asian Carp Menace

Asian Carp and America’s Great Lakes. We’ll look at the struggle to hold off an onslaught.

In this June 13, 2012 file photo an Asian carp, jolted by an electric current from a research boat, jump from the Illinois River near Havana, Ill., during a study on the fish's population. Bills moving through the Minnesota Legislature on Thursday, March 27, 2014 would require official state materials to refer to the troublesome fish as "invasive carp." (AP)

In this June 13, 2012 file photo an Asian carp, jolted by an electric current from a research boat, jump from the Illinois River near Havana, Ill., during a study on the fish’s population. Bills moving through the Minnesota Legislature on Thursday, March 27, 2014 would require official state materials to refer to the troublesome fish as “invasive carp.” (AP)

Take your motorboat down a Midwestern waterway infested with Asian carp and you will know see the problem in a hurry.  It’s like a horror movie.  The big, scaly fish explode from the water on all sides.  They look like giant, airborne piranha, thrashing and leaping high in the air.  A threat to life and limb that leaves a huge, bloody mess of fish in the bottom of the boat.  They are taking over Midwest waterways.  They drive out other life.  Now they threaten the Great Lakes, the biggest collection of fresh water lakes on Earth.  This hour On Point:  the epic struggle to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

John Flesher, Great Lakes environmental reporter for the Associated Press. (@JohnFlesher)

Dave Wethington, engineer and project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (@CorpsPMDave)

Joel Brammeier, chief executive officer of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. (@JoelBrammeier)

Lynn Muench, senior vice president of regional advocacy at the American Waterways Operators.

From Tom’s Reading List

Associated Press: Illinois, seven other states agree to take aim at invasive species — “Amid disagreement over the best long-term solution and how to pay for it, the mutual aid deal reached Saturday empowers the states and Canadian provinces to share staff and expertise to do what they can to keep Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes and imperiling the fishing industry.”

Nashville Public Radio: As Many As 500,000 Asian Carp Die-Off In Cumberland River In Kentucky — “Several sources in Kentucky are reporting on a massive and sudden die-off of silver carp in the Cumberland River below the Lake Barkley dam, downriver from Nashville and Clarksville. Estimates of “tens of thousands”, maybe as many as 500,000 of the invasive Asian carp species, are believed to have perished in a 24-hour period.”

Christian Science Monitor: Asian carp are already in Great Lakes, new report suggests –“Researchers report discovering traces of carp DNA in the western basin of Lake Erie as well as in a smaller lake well beyond the electric barrier that is supposed to fence the carp into the Mississippi River Basin. The scientists note that Asian carp have been caught in both locations previously – though not in large enough numbers to suggest an infestation.”

Watch A Video Of Asian Carp Leaping Around A Moving Boat


Track The Spread Of Asian Carp In The United States

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