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Congress Pitching In Cash To Fight Asian Carp

By Prescott Carlson in News on Oct 16, 2009 9:00PM

Photo by Caobhin
Oh sure, it's usually health care reform this and nuclear Iran that, but Congress is also tackling the big issues, like preventing Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan. The carp, which can be up to 4 feet long and weigh 100 pounds, eat a whole lot of food and threaten to disrupt the food chain of the native fish that live in Lake Michigan and the entire Great Lakes ecosystem. The fish has been found in the Illinois River, so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers placed an electronic barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and so far the barrier has kept the carp from getting into the lake.

But the barriers were only temporary, and if the Des Plaines River happens to flood, the barriers will be useless. That's where Congress steps in. Yesterday they voted to allocate $6 million to help fight the Asian carp invasion, bringing the total appropriations for the effort to $30 million. The money will go towards building permanent barriers, the continuation of a study to find more ways to get rid of the fish, and possibly creating a temporary sandbag berm along the Des Plaines River and blocking a bypass through the Illinois and Michigan canal.

But hey, if that doesn't work, we can all just grab our fishing poles.