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Asian Carp Problem to Be Fixed in Time For Your Grandkids

By JoshMogerman in News on Jul 9, 2011 7:00PM

It has been a while since we have heard anything on our favorite invasive menace, the Asian carp, here in Chicago. But that doesn’t mean the debate has died down or become any less contentious elsewhere in the region. In a meeting of the Asian Carp Coordinating Committee in Port Clinton, OH this week, General John Peabody of the Army Corps of Engineers said long-term permanent solutions to the carp issue in the Chicago waterways would take “a generation or two to put in place.” Another federal official noted that the fish could be “driven back” with aggressive use of poisons in our waterways.

Gen. Peabody also noted that the Corps’ electric barriers in suburban Chicago are doing the job in the meantime:

“It is clear that we have the Asian carp threat contained below the fish barrier,” he said. “All of the experts believe we are in a good place. We’re not resting on our laurels; we’re going to continue to attack this issue aggressively.”
But not all the experts agree. A paper published recently in the Journal of Great Lakes Research calls on Congress to force the Corps to pick up the pace on studies of a permanent separation between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes systems in Chicago. The authors, including a renown Canadian professor and former US Fish and Wildlife researcher, claim that eDNA tests prove that carp have gotten past the electric barrier and a media campaign is downplaying the significant threat of the fishes’ advance to protect limited interests. The peer-reviewed article also insists that the most severe economic and ecological impacts of the invasion can be stopped should we hop to it and build a barrier.

Hopping to it would probably not include two generations’ time. Unless those are iPod generations…