As far as I’m concerned, no self respecting carp would be caught dead swimming in the Mississippi River, so one can hardly blame them for trying to make a bee-line for the far more pristine (but not perfect) waters of the Great Lakes.

The problem: invasive (aka “marauding”) Asian carp might get into the Great Lakes. The solution (for now): engineering barriers to keep the carp from swimming up artificial waterways connecting the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes.

As the Alliance for the Great Lakes points out here,

Known to batter boaters and even knock them into the water at the sound of a passing motor, Asian carp are voracious filter feeders that can grow to more than 4 feet long, weigh up to 100 pounds and quickly dominate a body of water by gobbling up the same food that sustains native fish populations.

Mercy. AP notes that the federal

… plan outlines two dozen … steps, from strengthening an electric barrier designed to block the carp’s advance to using nets or poisons to nab fish that make it through.

Many are concerned that such measures are far from certain. Once the carp get in, there probably is no stopping them. The Alliance for the Great Lakes advocates

physically separating the Mississippi and Great Lakes basins, the only permanent solution proposed for keeping Asian carp and future invasive species from traveling between the two watersheds.

Closing the waterway connections would be an expensive proposition, but a phased approach to doing so might be workable.


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