NOW:53045:USA01489
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01489
23°
H 25° L 23°
Cloudy | 6MPH

Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Carp seemed like a good idea at the time or Don't mess with nature!

Environment, Government / Bureaucracy, Unintended consequences, WARNING, Water

 http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=802759 Surge in Asian carp could lead to expanded range Oct. 5, 2008

Want to know why I am so leery of "scientific" intervention into a natural problem? Try a track record of blunders in the name of preserving nature. Trout introduced into Lake Yellowstone, the St. Lawrence Seaway introducing parasitic species into the Great Lakes, damming rivers that leads to destroying habitat and species, and more.

I first heard about the carp problem in the Mississippi in a Journal spread summer 2007? They actually imported an exotic species of carp to introduce to the river to solve one problem.

When will we learn? Sparrows, Garlic Mustard, Buckthorn,

To solve the fairy tale problem of global warming we have these dangerous solutions: Sulfur clouds, millions of mirrors. 

 

The carp’s push toward the Great Lakes — the biggest home in the world they could ever hope to find — has mysteriously stalled for the past two years about 15 miles below the experimental electric barrier, but nobody’s relaxing.

“History has shown they tend to move in fits and starts and if they get a good year reproduction-wise, then they make a surge the year after that,” says John Rogner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Unfortunately, the fish have had a very good year.

An annual sampling survey on a small stretch of the Illinois River below the electric barrier yielded 11,000 Asian carp last year. The same biologists are only about two-thirds through that survey this year, and they’ve already landed 80,000 fish — half of which were caught in a single haul.

“Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did get worse. A lot worse,” says Matt O’Hara, a researcher with the Illinois Natural History Survey in Havana, Ill.

The bighead and slightly smaller jumping silver carp pose the most immediate threat of the four species of Asian carp that have gotten loose in the Mississippi River watershed.

Bighead can grow to 100 pounds and eat up to 20% of their weight in plankton per day — energy that every other fish species in the lakes directly or indirectly depends upon.

The former chairman of the International Joint Commission, which oversees U.S. and Canadian boundary waters issues, predicted Asian carp have the capacity to turn the lakes into an oversized “carp pond.”

The fish are now about 45 miles south of Lake Michigan, not a significant distance to cover.

“If they got an urge, they could do that swim in a couple of days, for sure,” says Duane Chapman, a research fishery biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Contrary to widely published reports, the Southern fish farm industry isn’t the culprit for the initial release of the fish, which were imported from Asia more than three decades ago.

The Journal Sentinel traveled to Arkansas in 2006 to find out exactly how these imported fish got loose in our waterways, and the picture that emerged through state documents, personal papers, and interviews with current and retired officials with state and federal fishery agencies is as bizarre as it is disturbing.

A fish farmer was indeed likely the first person to import bighead and silver carp into the U.S., but he promptly handed them over to employees at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission who used them to establish a breeding program. Then, working with money from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Arkansas Game and Fish employees planted the fish in sewage lagoons to eat human waste as part of a demonstration project.

The plan was to use the fish to convert sewage into fish flesh, and then sell those fillets in grocery stores to help offset sewage treatment costs.

The fish proved to be champion sewage eaters, but the Food and Drug Administration scoffed at the idea of selling them as food. The experiments eventually petered out, but not before Arkansas state employees accidentally let them loose. Bunches of times.

That was nearly three decades ago, and the fish have been migrating north ever since.

Now there might be an even more reviled fish following them.

In May, an Arkansas fish farmer found a snakehead flopping on a dirt road that parallels a creek.

The fish are voracious predators, famous for being able to live out of water and slither across the ground. They have been illegal to import or transport between states since 2002. But hundreds have been found in the Arkansas stream since that initial discovery in May, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is pointing the finger at a deceased fish farmer for importing them nearly a decade ago.

“We were going to poison the creek and kill all the fish in it,” Keith Stephens, spokesman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said in late September. “But we had two hurricanes come in here and we’ve got way too much water to do it effectively, so we’ll postpone it until later this winter or this spring.”

That creek ultimately flows into the Mississippi, and if the poisoning doesn’t work, it’s probably only a matter of time before the snakeheads follow the carp north.

Advertisement
var zflag_nid="162"; var zflag_cid="2691/1"; var zflag_sid="678"; var zflag_width="300"; var zflag_height="250"; var zflag_sz="9"; var zflag_hasAd = "2"; var pub_url = "http://oasc08024.247realmedia.com/RealMedia/ads/adstream_jx.ads/www.jsonline.com/@Position2"; document.write(""); Alt Text Click Here!
adsonar_placementId=1266526;adsonar_pid=527757;adsonar_ps=1371709;adsonar_zw=300;adsonar_zh=150;adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com';

“History has shown they tend to move in fits and starts and if they get a good year reproduction-wise, then they make a surge the year after that,” says John Rogner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Unfortunately, the fish have had a very good year.

An annual sampling survey on a small stretch of the Illinois River below the electric barrier yielded 11,000 Asian carp last year. The same biologists are only about two-thirds through that survey this year, and they’ve already landed 80,000 fish — half of which were caught in a single haul.

“Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did get worse. A lot worse,” says Matt O’Hara, a researcher with the Illinois Natural History Survey in Havana, Ill.

The bighead and slightly smaller jumping silver carp pose the most immediate threat of the four species of Asian carp that have gotten loose in the Mississippi River watershed.

Bighead can grow to 100 pounds and eat up to 20% of their weight in plankton per day — energy that every other fish species in the lakes directly or indirectly depends upon.

The former chairman of the International Joint Commission, which oversees U.S. and Canadian boundary waters issues, predicted Asian carp have the capacity to turn the lakes into an oversized “carp pond.”

The fish are now about 45 miles south of Lake Michigan, not a significant distance to cover.

“If they got an urge, they could do that swim in a couple of days, for sure,” says Duane Chapman, a research fishery biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Contrary to widely published reports, the Southern fish farm industry isn’t the culprit for the initial release of the fish, which were imported from Asia more than three decades ago.

The Journal Sentinel traveled to Arkansas in 2006 to find out exactly how these imported fish got loose in our waterways, and the picture that emerged through state documents, personal papers, and interviews with current and retired officials with state and federal fishery agencies is as bizarre as it is disturbing.

A fish farmer was indeed likely the first person to import bighead and silver carp into the U.S., but he promptly handed them over to employees at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission who used them to establish a breeding program. Then, working with money from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Arkansas Game and Fish employees planted the fish in sewage lagoons to eat human waste as part of a demonstration project.

The plan was to use the fish to convert sewage into fish flesh, and then sell those fillets in grocery stores to help offset sewage treatment costs.

The fish proved to be champion sewage eaters, but the Food and Drug Administration scoffed at the idea of selling them as food. The experiments eventually petered out, but not before Arkansas state employees accidentally let them loose. Bunches of times.

That was nearly three decades ago, and the fish have been migrating north ever since.

Now there might be an even more reviled fish following them.

In May, an Arkansas fish farmer found a snakehead flopping on a dirt road that parallels a creek.

The fish are voracious predators, famous for being able to live out of water and slither across the ground. They have been illegal to import or transport between states since 2002. But hundreds have been found in the Arkansas stream since that initial discovery in May, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is pointing the finger at a deceased fish farmer for importing them nearly a decade ago.

“We were going to poison the creek and kill all the fish in it,” Keith Stephens, spokesman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said in late September. “But we had two hurricanes come in here and we’ve got way too much water to do it effectively, so we’ll postpone it until later this winter or this spring.”

That creek ultimately flows into the Mississippi, and if the poisoning doesn’t work, it’s probably only a matter of time before the snakeheads follow the carp north.


 

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Page Tools

Advertisement