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DANGER: ASIAN CARP IN THE GREAT LAKES
See Asian Carp I.D. and Videos Here
[below on this page]
loads of information & Videos go to the Asian Carp Management Website
Make sure you check out the Rebels FUN video below
from National Geographic
|Outdoors Niagara Note:
Below is an email received from the New York State Director of the Great Lakes Sportfishing Council, Thomas Marks of Derby N.Y. It is posted here in regards to the Asian Carp which has been raising concerns over it's migration into the Great Lakes. Reading Marks comments can raise the hair on the back of your neck. Thomas Marks is a Western New Yorker who is very passionate about this subject. The Asian carp will be devastating to the Great Lakes if control and action are not taken immediately if not already too late.
1] Originally brought to the United States to eat vegetation in fish farms, Asian carp escaped sometime in the early 1970s, and they have systematically worked their way up the Mississippi River basin - heading toward Lake Michigan and eventually all the Great Lakes.
2] How do you control an animal that has no natural predators, seems to multiply uncontrollably and has bad effects on the ecosystem?
3] "Bighead" and "Silver carp" are the two main species when we talk about the Asian carp.
4] See U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
description & I.D. below along with videos GO
"The powerful, leaping Asian carp, which could devastate the region's $4.5 billion fishing industry and are known to knock recreational boaters and anglers from their boats, have reached the electrical barrier operating in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal"
See Videos BE SURE TO READ THOMAS MARKS CREDENTIALS BELOW
|This is an email sent out by
Time & Date is all in front of you. Be sure to contact your congressman and express your thoughts....this needs to be done if the Great Lakes are to survive.
Please be sure to take the time to read Marks' letter directly following this email.
Sent: 2/22/2010 6:48:44 P.M. Eastern
Please take the time to read the following it was attached to the email:
Asian Carp Barrier Failure and
2010 Asian Carp Control Strategy
By: Thomas Marks, NY Director
Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council
I can honestly say,
“I told you so.” It is painful to be right in this instance
because it means that the Asian carp infesting the Illinois
River and Chicago area waterway system have invaded Lake
Michigan. In January the release of eDNA test results from
samples taken in Lake Michigan confirms my worst fears that
Asian carp are in Lake Michigan. The current situation
changes all the dynamics for any future Asian Carp Control
Strategy Plans. There may be a very small window to halt any
further invasion of Lake Michigan by the Asian Carp; this is
dependent upon how many carp have reached Lake Michigan. The
time for technological barriers in the Chicago Sanitary and
Ship Canal and Cal-Sag Channel have past; more aggressive
measures must be executed. Time has all but run out, we are
in the last hours for any control measures, which can
succeed at protecting Lake Michigan and the remaining Great
What I have been
saying for almost the past ten years has been that the
efforts to prevent the Asian carp from reaching Lake
Michigan have been inadequate. The Army Corps of Engineers
poorly executed a plan that had some potential to protect
Lake Michigan. The Corps operated with a lack of urgency or
intensity on this critical plan when time was not on our
side. Poor planning led to the unsatisfactory site selection
and the resulting problems. The electric barrier was placed
in a less than suitable location to stop Asian carp. The
site for the barrier is prone to flooding from the Des
Plaines River, which could allow carp to infest areas above
the barrier. The permanent electric barrier known as Barrier
IIA and Barrier IIB was supposed to cost $9.1 million to be
built and be operational in 2005. Delays in construction due
to problems with the location of Barrier IIA of the
Permanent Electric Barrier pushed the cost much higher, to
be completed the price tag has risen to over $16 million.
The Barrier IIA portion of the permanent electric barrier
was “completed” in April of 2006, however it was not
operational until April 2009 that is four years behind
schedule. The Barrier IIA, only half of the permanent
barrier promised to be built, was allowed to operate
initially at only1 volt, a fraction of its rated capability.
Safety issues surrounding sparking between a coal loading
dock downstream and barges extending into the electric field
required an “electricity absorbing” mat to be installed. If
Asian carp were detected near the barrier an emergency plan
was formulated to increase the power to 2 volts, still only
half of its capability and which will be ineffective at
repelling all sizes of carp, which its original design was
capable of repelling. The power was increased to 2 volts in
July of 2009.
I will not dwell on
the failures of the Electric Barrier Plan because it is
painfully obvious by the presence of Asian carp in Lake
Michigan that it has failed. The Army Corps of Engineers and
others responsible became fixated on the electric barrier
and not on the objective to stop the advance of the Asian
carp. They did not carry out the plans that were in place.
It was a multi-tired plan, which included continuous
monitoring, ecological barriers and ultimately hydrological
separation of the two ecosystems.
populations became established in the Mississippi and
Illinois Rivers Asian carp expanded their range at almost 20
miles a year but when they reached the Lockport lock the
advance stopped. Nobody responsible for Asian Carp control
asked why would the carp stop at the lock when they had
successfully passed locks further south in the system.
Unfortunately the Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois DNR and
others watching the carp did not understand that the carp
did not stop expanding their range. It was the inadequacy of
the survey methods being used to detect the carp in the
canal. I had expressed this in 2005 that the methods used,
electro-fishing, and nets were not suited for use in the
Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. At that time the carp were
about 40 miles from Lake Michigan I had predicted that they
would be at the Lake (Michigan) sometime in 2007. It is
quite possible the Asian carp arrived as I predicted. In the
fall of 2008 a small Lake in Chicago was rotenoned by the
Illinois DNR because Asian carp were seen there. It is quite
possible that these carp could have arrived through a
connection to Lake Michigan, its only connection to possibly
carp infested waters.
In the latter half of
2009, DNA testing was begun to determine where Asian carp
had reached. Using eDNA (environmental DNA) it is possible
to detect Asian carp where conventional methods are
ineffective and at lower numbers. It is the best early
warning detection method currently available. If carp are
present it is possible to detect them by isolating DNA from
“environmental” samples. Quickly we learned that Asian carp
were in the vicinity of the electric barrier. Testing
further upstream showed there were carp past the barrier.
Finally in January 2010 it was determined that Asian carp
were indeed in Lake Michigan. The environmental DNA tests
could only determine that the carp are present, not how many
carp, so we do not know if there are sufficient numbers for
a spawning population in Lake Michigan. I have received
anecdotal evidence that Asian carp have been in Lake
Michigan since late 2007. I have recently received reports
that Asian carp have been seen in Muskegon Harbor some 120
miles north of Chicago. These reports are unconfirmed by
actual fish capture or positive eDNA test results. If the
reports I have received are correct then the battle to save
the Great Lakes from Asian carp is over. Even small numbers
of Asian carp are not good. Biological pollution, which is
what Asian carp are, requires only a small initial
“contamination” to become a serious problem. Biological
pollution is living organisms, which can reproduce; it may
take years to get numbers high enough to do damage to the
ecosystem but when they do it is way too late for
countermeasures. A perfect example is what has happened in
the Illinois River with Asian carp, or the Great Lakes with
quagga mussels, or round gobies, or spiney water fleas, or
the other 180 invasive species identified so far in our
The Army Corps of
Engineers, EPA, Illinois DNR, US Fish and Wildlife and US
Coast Guard are all in denial that their electric barrier
has failed to keep the carp from Lake Michigan. While using
eDNA testing to detect carp maybe a new use, it is not new
in forensic science to detect DNA of victims, perpetrators
of crimes and to be used to determine the fate of criminals
in our courts. The DNA testing in the environment is
essentially the same as the testing being conducted by
forensic scientists for our court system. Therefore, to
question the validity is pure nonsense and denial by the
Army Corps of Engineers, EPA, US Fish and Wildlife and all
the opponents to hydrological separation of the Mississippi
and Great Lakes ecosystems. Despite the Army Corps, EPA, and
US Fish and Wildlife’s public skepticism of eDNA test
results; I know they have no doubts that it is valid,
effective and can be trusted. The emergency response and use
of rotenone below the electric barrier was because of the
positive eDNA test results in the vicinity of and above the
electric barrier. This action would have been extreme
overkill if the Asian carp were below the Lockport Lock as
these agencies had publicly indicated just a few months
I started by saying that the presence of Asian carp has changed entirely the dynamic for protecting the Great Lakes from this invasive species. The Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework presented by the Obama administration was obsolete the day it was printed. The Strategy has no sense of urgency; it sustains carrying on a failed plan to address the Asian carp invasion. It lacks action by restudying control measures that have already been studied to death. The most glaring problem with Administration’s Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework is that it denies that these carp are in Lake Michigan. If there is any hope for the Great Lakes it is if there is only a small number of carp in Lake Michigan. If this proves to be correct we may have a chance to remove them before they can reproduce. The time for studies of control measures is past; we already know what to do. More studies will only exasperate the situation and cause more delays and insure the Asian carp’s successful invasion of all our Great Lakes.
It is hard to outline
a plan because as the countermeasures are listed it sets an
imaginary sequence of priorities. In this “fight” there are
no first priorities. Everything on the table and outlined
has to occur now; this is the last chance; there will be no
more opportunities. 2010 will be the year that we either
stopped the Asian carp or the year the Asian carp officially
invaded the Great Lakes.
The following is
what should be included in any 2010 Asian Carp Control
Strategy to protect the Great Lakes from this invasive
The plan I have outlined has to be initiated and carried out as soon as possible to be effective. I will repeat again that we have no time the Asian carp are in Lake Michigan; the mission to stop them from reaching the Great Lakes has failed. We are now in uncharted territory nothing has ever been attempted like this before to undo an invasion of an ecosystem. All efforts have to be carried out aggressively and with determination. I have focussed on the ecological disaster but if the Asian carp are not pushed back and stopped it will have severe economic impacts as well. The recreational boating and fishing industry is valued at over $7.1 billion a year in the Great Lakes. In a recent New York Times article it was stated that the invasion of Asian carp would spell disaster for tourism. It would cause the property values of vacation homes and tourism businesses to plummet. If Asian carp effect the economic base of communities around the Great Lakes their bond ratings would suffer. As described the Asian carp is not only an environmental problem it is economic which we can ill afford not to eradicate from Lake Michigan.
In summary there is no
room for delay in action. It is environmental and economic
survival for the Great Lakes region that is at stake. The
Asian carp are not pausing to second guess their migration
to northern waters and beyond. We have a lot of resources at
our disposal to carry out this plan. We need to react much
like we have in the past for any natural disaster except
this one is manmade. I believe 2010 will be a year etched in
history, I hope our descendants will be able to praise us
for our actions.
[Thomas Marks email]
Maybe some of you know I have been battling on this issue for years... I can not describe how I feel... I am sick... disgusted... mad as hell... and not surprised. This email will be too long but I hope you will excuse me and read it through... there is much work to be done.
From its inception I felt and stated emphatically that the electric barrier would not work/or be effective at stopping Asian carp... also I said that the project would never be completed in time by the Army Corps of Engineers... an electric barrier was used to stop the spread of gobies into the Mississippi River and failed because the Corps completed, what became known as the temporary electric barrier, too late. Even now as we are witnesses to this failure the permanent barrier has not yet been completed (fall 2010 is the latest target), and it has cost millions more than what was initially planned. When this project was initiated to prevent the Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes I asked why would we expect different results... the Corps had already proved they do not operate at the level of intensity or urgency necessary to protect an ecosystem. For this government project there has been no accountability, no time table for completion, no pressure to be productive... if the project engineers in Chicago were working in private industry they would have been out of a job long ago. ... but we would have a completed electric barrier.
I asked most of the researchers and consultants that were planning and advising for this project about electric barriers and the concept for using one to protect the Great Lakes... the plan for the barrier was meant only to slow the advance of the Asian carp to Lake Michigan... the plan was never for the electric barrier to stop the carp! I tried to tell everyone this but few listened. The Barrier Panel Committee, Army Corps, Coast Guard, and the project supporters let the public and the press believe the electric barrier would stop the Asian carp from reaching Lake Michigan... despite knowing that this was false. I can not count all the times I have read quotes from "Panel" members or the Army Corps project engineers suggesting the electric barrier would stop the Asian carp. So, this is why we are at this point today ... to be witnesses to the demise of the once Great Lakes.
Last year (Nov. 2008) asian carp were found in a small lake in a Chicago Park which is connected to Lake Michigan; there were only two ways that the carp could have gotten there; either they came in from Lake Michigan or if someone "planted" them. The lake was "rotenoned" to kill the carp because no matter how they got there they could potentially swim out into Lake Michigan. This was reported by the Chicago press and confirmed by Illinois Wildlife officials. At the time I feared that carp had already breached the barrier because I felt these carp had come from Lake Michigan. I had been receiving reports for over a year prior that Asian carp had been seen in the harbor area. Let me explain, studies by scientists advising the Barrier Panel Committee stated that the electric barrier at best would be 99% effective... sounds good but it isn't (most likely it is even less effective). There are tens of thousands of carp swimming the canal and who knows how many will try to pass the barrier (and the electric field's effectiveness is dependent upon the surface area of the fish... big fish effective; small fish not so effective) for every hundred carp trying the barrier one would get through. When it comes to those small young of the year the electric field will be less effective and more will pass. I could go on however, trust me there are lots of holes in the electric barrier plan. There is not even consensus among members on the barrier panel as too how serious the threat asian carp pose to the Great Lakes. It seems just when we think we understand the asian carp we find we do not fully understand this creature. I do not trust the experts anymore. I know the asian carp does not belong in the Great Lakes and I will do whatever it takes to keep them from getting there.
There could be a possibility the method used to detect Asian carp has given us a false positive, perhaps we just got a bad scare. In that case we need to work with more intensity, at a level necessary to protect the Great Lakes; we can not be satisfied with the pace that the Army Corps of Engineers has worked at to this point. Time has never been on our side. The Corps engineers have to be made accountable for the work they do. We can not accept excuses or delays. We can not accept barriers less effective than the electric barrier.... which is meant only to slow the Asian carp invasion. We need to have in place, (quickly), an ecological barrier as was in the original plan to protect the Great Lakes. I have suggested that all the power plants located on the Sanitary and Ship Canal and the Cal-Sag Channel be allowed to discharge hot water to create a zone inhospitable to fish. WE ARE TRYING TO PROTECT AN ECOSYSTEM... DRASTIC MEASURES MAY BE NEEDED ASAP! The Sanitary and Ship Canal was designed to be an open sewer not a fish habitat. If the Great Lakes are important, then we must do whatever it takes.... with the intensity and urgency to necessary protect them.
Let me just briefly describe the "Barrier" Project so you are clear on what was originally planned. It has three phases, first was to build the electric barrier, phase one. The second phase is to build an ecological barrier. We are very late in the planning stage for this phase of the project, we should be implementing it now, not still planning it. The first phase of the project was supposed to be completed years ago so it is far behind schedule. The final phase is supposed to be hydrological separation of the Mississippi Basin from the Great Lakes (as it was before the canals). The Sanitary and Ship Canal was built to be an open sewer to carry sewage away from Chicago's drinking water source, Lake Michigan. We do not need the open sewer anymore. We can close the canal because Chicago's treated sewage water is clean enough to discharge into Lake Michigan rather than to divert billions of gallons of water a day out of the Great Lakes towards New Orleans.
I ask all the recipients of this email to make calls to their Congressman and Senators (in NY Schumer and Gillibrand)... we need quick action... we all need to work at the intensity level that is necessary to protect an ecosystem, we have only one chance! I hope we have not lost it.
1. Call your member of Congress and Senate and urge them to:
- Tell the Corps to immediately close all controlling locks in Chicago waterways that lead to Lake Michigan.
- Tell the Corps to take any and all monitoring and control efforts to keep the Asian carp at bay and the Great Lakes safe.
- The risk is too great to delay taking action, we must act today to save the Great Lakes from this devastating invasive species.
2. AND call the Army Corps of Engineers Project Manager, Chuck Shea, and urge him to act quickly! It his responsibility for the situation we are currently in.
-Tell Chuck Shea to act responsibly and to close all controlling locks in Chicago waterways that lead to Lake Michigan.
-Tell Chuck Shea to adopt a sense of urgency and to work at a level of intensity necessary to protect an ecosystem.
-Tell Chuck Shea if it is not already too late; we have only one opportunity for success and not to squander it.
3. AND call Dr. Phil Moy
-Tell him as Chair of the Barrier Advisory Panel he needs be a leader, to take responsibility for the project's success or failure, to keep the Corps on plan and schedule.
-Tell him that the "Panel" bears responsibility for the success or failure of this project.
-Tell him to get phase two of the project implemented and push harder for hydrological separation.
To reach your member of Congress, you may call the Capitol Switchboard at: 202-224-3121
To reach Chuck Shea you may call the Chicago District of the Army Corps of Engineers at: 312-846-5568
To Reach Dr. Phil Moy you may call him at: 920-683-4697
Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council
Derby, NY 14047
|BIO FOR THOMAS MARKS:
Click the Pic
Licensed Coast Guard Master Class Captain
ODN NOTE: This article was found very interesting and worthy of posting here for everyone's review. This Carp situation is NO JOKE!
Feds pass on surest solution to Asian carp advance
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – The surest way to keep rampaging Asian carp from gaining a foothold in the Great Lakes is to sever the link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River basin, created by engineers in Chicago more than a century ago.
That would thrill environmentalists and those who make their living in the $7 billion Great Lakes fishing industry, which could be devastated by a carp invasion. Not so the barge operators who move millions of tons of commodities on the Chicago-area waterways each year.
And so, pulled in different directions by both, as well as politicians in the Great Lakes states, the Obama administration this week proposed a $78.5 million plan that appears to make no one happy.
"It appears to be politically negotiated rather than scientifically based ... sort of like trying to cut the baby in half," said Thom Cmar, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "It offers a lot of middle-ground alternatives with no discussion of why any of them would actually work."
Shippers worry about a promised study that would examine closing more often a pair of navigational locks at Chicago, and the prospect that a long-term study could recommend severing the connection between the river and the lakes for good.
Environmentalists, meanwhile, fear the plan's reliance on strengthening an electric barrier designed to block the carp's advance — and other measures, such as stepping up efforts to find and kill fish that may have slipped through — is an expensive gamble that might not be enough to ward off an infestation.
"We're spending close to $80 million just for a short-term deterrent," said Joel Brammeier, president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, an environmental group. "We need to stop pushing money toward temporary solutions and get everyone on track toward investing in one that works for good — and that means absolute physical separation."
Bighead and silver carp — both native to Asia — have been migrating toward the lakes since escaping from Deep South fish ponds and sewage treatment plants in the 1970s. The biggest can reach 100 pounds and 4 feet long, consuming up to 40 percent of their body weight daily in plankton, the base of the aquatic food chain. Once established in the lakes, the carp could starve out the prey fish on which popular species such as salmon and whitefish depend.
The carp have already infested parts of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, driving away many native fish. Silver carp are known to hurtle from the water at the sound of passing motors and slam into boaters with bone-breaking force.
While scientists differ on whether the carp would thrive in the Great Lakes, which are colder, deeper and ecologically different than rivers, many say the risk is too great to take any chances.
"None of us know for certain what their impact would be," University of Notre Dame biologist David Lodge told a House subcommittee this week. "There's only one way to find out, and I don't think any of us want that."
To be fair, the solution environmentalists prefer — cutting ties between the lakes and the Mississippi — would mean reconfiguring some 70 miles of canals and rivers. That's a massive undertaking that could not happen quickly. "We cannot fight biology with engineering alone," Cameron Davis, the Environmental Protection Agency's spokesman on the issue, told the congressional panel.
Yet the federal plan is heavy on technological innovations. Among them: barriers using sound, strobe lights and bubble curtains to repel carp and biological controls to prevent them from reproducing. They're promising measures, but still on the drawing board.
Environmentalists and Great Lakes governors outside of Illinois who want to close the Chicago locks claim it's the best short-term option. But it isn't a foolproof solution, as young carp might still be able to slip through the leaky structures. The Chicago waterways also have other access points to Lake Michigan.
Army Corps of Engineers officials are putting their faith in the two-tiered electric barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal about 25 miles from Lake Michigan, to which they will add a third section this year. It emits pulses to scare off the carp or knock them unconscious if they don't turn back. No carp have been found above the barrier, although biologists have detected their DNA in numerous spots past it and even within the lake itself.
"While we're all talking," Lodge said, "the fish are swimming."
That almost certainly means at least some carp have eluded the device and reached the lake. The government's plan aims to keep their number low enough to prevent them from breeding. The problem is that no one knows how many carp need to make it into the lake to establish a foothold that can't be turned back.
"This is a lot of money to pile into stopgap measures," said Phil Moy, a University of Wisconsin Sea Grant researcher. "It may do some good in the short term, but in the long term it's not going to solve the problem of invasive species on both sides of the divide. Ecological separation has to happen for this to be successful."
AP Environmental Writer John Flesher has covered the Great Lakes since 1989.
If you would like to see more in-depth information take the time
to go to the Great Lakes Sportfishing Council website
Here is a Fun Video found on the
National Geographic website
Take a look to see how the Rebels are handling the invasion
A REDNECK FISHING TOURNAMENT!
GIANT CARP I.D. [USFWS]
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