In Voracious Asian carp poised to upset Great Lakes, theChicago Tribune reports:
Conservationists and government biologists, stunned by new indications of the advance of Asian carp toward Lake Michigan, are trading ideas for poisoning Chicago-area rivers, conducting emergency electrofishing or chemically neutering the wily fish.
On Friday, sophisticated genetic testing near Chicago found evidence of the carp within 7 miles of Lake Michigan after apparently leaping an electrical barrier once called the last line of defense for the Great Lakes.
The prospect of the voracious, prolific Asian carp reaching the Great Lakes — a fragile ecosystem reeling from other invasive species — has been the greatest fear of the lakes coalition.
Tests for Asian carp DNA have been conducted since August. The findings, available only in recent days, indicate that the pernicious plankton eaters are only one lock and dam away from the Great Lakes, said Army Corps of Engineers Maj. Gen. John W. Peabody, commander of the corps’ Great Lakes and Ohio River Division.
NPR adds that Asian Carp in the Great Lakes would threaten the existence of the multi-billion dollar sports fishing business:
The carp grow to large sizes (50-110 lbs.) and quickly become some of the most abundant fish captured from an area, possibly out competing native species for food or habitat resources. They have become so abundant in the Missouri River that there have been reports of commercial fishermen abandoning fishing sites due to the large catch of Asian carp.
Learn more about the Asian Carp from the US Fish & Wildlife Service and also see this video: