Predatory fish Lake Michigan

THE war against Asian carp hardly seems a fair fight. Since November 2009,when traces of the fish were found near Chicago,federal and state officials have used nets,electric shocks and poison to keep them out of the Great Lakes. This month the White House appointed a carp tsar to oversee the campaign. But government moves slowly. Fish do not.

Introduced in Arkansas in the 1970s,Asian carp have swum up the Mississippi River,eating and spawning ravenously. The silver carp,capable of spectacular leaping,batter fishermen. An annual Redneck Fishing Tournament now brings men to the Illinois River with baseball bats in hand,keen to get their revenge.

The past year has seen a torrent of measures to keep the Great Lakes free of them. The White House has allotted $79m for the fight. The new carp tsar should ensure better co-ordination. The Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) is building fences to contain fish during floods. A new electrical barrier—two already exist—will soon be finished.

But progress is undermined by government's two favourite activities. First,bureaucrats love planning. The Army Corps thinks that strobe lights and a “bubble curtain” will deter carp. But any underwater disco must wait for funding and a demonstration project. Second,there is endless bickering. In June a carp was found just six miles (10km) from Lake Michigan. A fight ensued over whether the fish was planted there. In July five state attorneys-general sued the ACE and Chicago's water district,demanding that they should temporarily close two locks connecting Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River basin. The fight has turned nasty,though both sides agree on one point: closing the locks would not necessarily keep carp out.

The only foolproof solution is to separate the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River,as was once the case—today's worry is caused by a 110-year-old canal,vital for sewage disposal and transport. That would take decades. In June Midwestern senators proposed a bill to speed up a study of the issue. That bill is now stuck. In July a coalition of cities and states decided to conduct a separate study. The ACE has a draft of its “project management plan”—a draft of the plan for the study. Still the carp head north.

Impact of spear fishing on the abundance of large predatory coral reef fishes
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Do we really want to save it?

2008-09-23 06:43:39 by oikos

The article does not mention that the sea lamprey is not a native fish and that salmon were existing quite nicely without them, seals and sea lions notwithstanding. Further the article glosses over the fact that the adult sea lamprey is parasitic/predatory (the definition breaks down with them) on the adult salmon, negating the supposed benefit of providing alternate prey for the pinnipeds. There are, however, non-parasitic lampreys that would provide the benefits without the drawbacks.

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