5 States Sue Federal Government over Fish Invasion

Thursday, July 22, 2010
Silver carp (photo-Jason L. Jenkins, Missouri University)

Concerned over the future of the Great Lakes’ fish supply, five states have filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking the government to take action to stop the spread of the Asian carp. Officials in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota and Pennsylvania are afraid the introduction of bighead and silver carp into the lakes could decimate the populations of some native species, and are suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to get them to close locks on waterways leading into Lake Michigan.

The Asian carp are considered a threat because of their appetite for the plankton that feed a variety of fish in the Great Lakes. If the foreign fish become established, they could starve out smaller fish.
Worries regarding the spread of the bighead and silver carp have been growing for decades, since the fish were imported by Deep South fish farms and sewage lagoons in the early 1970s. The carp escaped into the Mississippi and have been gradually migrating north.
A 20-pound bighead carp was found in June in Chicago’s Lake Calumet only six miles from Lake Michigan, elevating concerns among environmentalists and local governments.
In February, the Obama administration proposed a $78.5 million anti-carp strategy that focused on electric barriers and poison, but Great Lakes authorities are not impressed.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
5 Great Lakes States Sue Feds over Asian Carp (by John Flesher, Associated Press and Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio)
Can a Lawsuit Stop the Asian Carp? (by Bryan Walsh, Time)


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