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Costly fight against invasive Asian Carp “Carp Cowboys’ and high-tech dam

The asian Carp first arrived in North America in the 1960s. They were from Southeast Asia to control algae and parasites in fish farming ponds in Louisiana and other southern states. But the plan quickly got out of hand.
( Illinois Department of Natural Resources)

The asian Carp has judged that the enemies of America’s waterways, threatening to take over the Great Lakes and lead to disaster for the land of the ecosystem.

Now, the fight against the invasive fish becomes more aggressive, more expensive and more and more desperate.

Engineers and ecologists have come up with a variety of ways to combat the growing threat.

Illinois has sent in a team of “the Carp Cowboys” to create and herd the fish out of the water.

Electric barriers have been set up at three different locations to block them from reaching Lake Michigan.

And the Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a high-tech infrastructure plan to defend the waterways called “The Brandon Road Lock and Dam” project.

Army Corps spokesman Allen Marshall explained it as a navigation structure on the Illinois Waterway designed as a “…potential one-way choke point to stop the spread of aquatic nuisances such as the Asian Carp,” and to prevent them from traveling from the Mississippi River Basin, in the direction of Lake Michigan.

MICHIGAN’S ASIAN CARP CHALLENGE IS LOOKING FOR IDEAS TO KEEP THE KILLER FISH FROM THE GREAT LAKES

What is involved are things like noise making machines to scare the fish, a bubble curtain and an electric barrier.

The project will cost nearly $800 million, with about 65 percent funded by the federal government, if Congress approves the money. The remaining 35 percent would come from the countries around the Great Lakes.

The asian Carp has judged that the enemies of America’s waterways, threatening to take over the Great Lakes and lead to disaster for the land of the ecosystem.
(Illinois Department of Natural Resources)

The Army Corps is expected to have the proposal to Congress at the end of February, but the government shutdown could slow down.

The asian Carp first arrived in North America in the 1960s. They were from Southeast Asia to control algae and parasites in fish farming ponds in Louisiana and other southern states.

But the plan quickly got out of hand.

Heavy rains and flooding allowed the species to escape into the larger waterways.

“Since then, they’ve been making their way to the north in the direction of the Great Lakes in search of food and new places to live in,” says Joel Brammeier, president of The Alliance for The Great Lakes.

THE ASIAN CARP FOUND NEAR LAKE MICHIGAN GOT PAST BARRIERS

The fish are the bullies of the waterways, wreaking havoc on lakes and rivers where they go. They are able to dominate their domains because they eat most of the plankton and algae, leaving little for the native fish species.

There are 10 different types of Asian Carp in the world, there are only four infesting AMERICAN and Canadian waters: black carp, grass carp, bighead carp and silver carp.

What makes this hardy species so unique, and maybe even a little scary, is that they jump out of the water, as high as 10 feet in the air. Boaters are affected by the flying fish, which can weigh up to 100 pounds and cause serious damage.
(Army corp of Engineers)

“…Soon grow and be fruitful feeders that out-compete native fish and leaves a trail of environmental destruction in their wake,” according to the website of the government www.asiancarp.us

What makes this hardy species so unique, and maybe even a little scary, is that they jump out of the water, as high as 10 feet in the air.

Boaters are affected by the flying fish, which can weigh up to 100 pounds and cause serious damage.

“They’ve broken noses and even knocked some people unconscious if they are hit in the head,” said Kevin Irons of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Irons admits that he had bruised more than a few times, when a carp threw his body in his direction. The jump is a reaction to the carp, nervous, or frightened, Irons explained. Their intention is to jump away and confuse a predator.

“It is a flight or fight response,” he said.

Some recreational boating areas are now unsafe because of the Asian carp.

“The impact on the $7 billion Great Lakes sport-fishing would be even more extensive than just the great lakes…” said Drew Youngdyke with the National Wildlife Federation,

“because the domestic rivers and lakes connected to the Great Lakes would also be adversely affected.”

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There are many different efforts in the course of the year to block the dangerous fish.

STOP THE ASIAN CARP, WILL EARN $1 MILLION

The “Carp Guys”, who are professional fishermen, have developed a unique way to the herd of the fish and remove them by banging on their boats and their revving engines. The Asian Carp respond to the sound by either jumping out of the water and swim away, making them easier to catch.

“It is much more efficient than just using a net,” said Irons.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources even confirmed small radios to a number of carp in order to track their movement and better able to hunt down on them.

And an Ironing board had a different idea about what to do with the Asian carp – eat.

“They’re delicious!” he said. “And by the harvest we can get the populations to a fraction of where they are now.”

The fish are actually eaten by people all over the world, but even though some restaurant owners in Chicago have tried to make the delicacy, it is not caught on yet in the United States.

“It is a white, flaky flesh,” Irons said: “you can grill or bake.”

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