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Entries in carp czar (6)

Monday
Mar112013

Carp Czar Focuses on Carp Threat to Ohio, Mississippi Rivers --- Finally

Carp caught at Kentucky Lake. Photo by Steve McCadams.

Activist Angler has been sounding the alarm for months about Asian carp spreading up the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, as well as east into the Cumberland, Tennessee and Ohio systems.

Finally, our federal carp czar, John Goss, has taken note that the Great Lakes aren't the only waters at risk. Isn’t that reassuring?

"Attacking the carp populations in the Ohio and Mississippi rivers needs to be our focus over the next few years," he said recently. "With very limited funding, we haven't been able to jump into it. Hopefully, Congress will recognize that, and we're working with federal staff people to get appropriations.”

Cleveland.com reports that Asian carp have reached Ohio waters of the Ohio River, and moved up the Little Miami River near Cincinnati.  It adds, “The infestation is so bad in Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Kentucky that the first commercial netting contest ever held will target the carp on March 12-13, with a $20,000 top prize. A commercial fisherman in that region told state officials he recently caught 36,000 pounds of carp - in just six hours.”

Goss said commercial netting will be the first wave of defense.

"Commercial fishing is working well on the Illinois River, keeping the bulk of the carp population about 100 miles away from the electric barriers (in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal). This year, netters took 60,000 Asian carp, which means we have a lot less pressure from fish swimming up to the barrier situation."

Following are just a few of articles that Activist Angler has posted to sound the alarm about Asian carp spreading north, east, and south:

Asian Carp also Threaten Southern Fisheries

Minnesota Anglers Urge Action to Stop Asian Carp Invasion

Asian Carp Using New Route to Threaten Minnesota Fisheries

Friday
Jan272012

Minnesota Anglers Urge Action to Stop Asian Carp Invasion

Minnesotans are understandably concerned about Asian carp spreading to inland lakes, as they continue their migration up the Mississippi River.

A coalition of angling, conservation, and environmental groups recently sent a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton encouraging him to aggressively address this threat. Here’s an excerpt:

We strongly encourage you to develop and implement strong and immediate actions designed to stop Asian carp from advancing northward in Minnesota.As you know, Asian carp are known to batter boaters and even knock them into the water at the sound of a passing motor. They are voracious filter feeders that can grow to more than 4 feet long, weigh up to 100 pounds and quickly dominate a body of water by gobbling up the same food that sustains native fish populations. As these jumping, jumbo-sized fish travel up the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix Rivers northward into Minnesota’s waters, we are in an emergency situation and immediate actions are necessary.

In early December, the locks on the Upper Mississippi River closed for the winter months. This routine winter closure provides a clear opportunity to stop Asian carp from advancing further north into Minnesota’s waters. We strongly recommend that you capitalize on this winter closing by developing and implementing effective plans to block Asian carp at Lock and Dam Nos. 1, 2 and Upper St. Anthony Falls before the 2012 navigation season commences. In addition, we urge you to support reducing lock use combined with deterrent technologies that would reduce the risk of Asian carp spreading further north.

Read specific recommendations here.

I’m hopeful that Minnesota and Gov. Dayton will deal with this threat in a realistic way, setting an example for our federal Carp Czar and his lethargic bureaucracy, which seems determined to keep “studying” the issue until Asian carp are firmly entrenched in the Great Lakes.

Thursday
Nov032011

Politicians Favor Carp Over Welfare of Public Resources

“I’m from the government. I’m here to help.”

No doubt you’ve heard that oxymoronic one-liner before.

Aside from the military, government is more a problem causer than a problem solver.

That’s certainly the case with Asian carp and the damage that they are doing to the nation’s waterways, according to recent articles in the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.

One of them begins this way:

Maybe a 40-pound silver carp upside the head would convince President Barack Obama of the urgent need to take decisive action against these invasive filter feeders.

And it continues:

"This is a crisis situation," Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine warned in an interview. "And yet the Obama administration seems to be oblivious to it."

If the president's got time to hand out dried fruit to trick-or-treaters, he's got time to order the Army Corps of Engineers to get off its doughnuts and complete -- in 18 months instead of five years -- its study of a permanent separation between the largest freshwater ecosystem in the world and the Mississippi River.

But he won't. Wouldn't want to upset the big-money guys in Chicago.

Instead, Obama will continue to waste taxpayer money on an apologist, I mean, carp czar, futile fish kills, superfluous studies and stonewalling of Great Lakes governors, attorneys general, scientists and environmentalists -- all of whom recognize that these gilled guerillas will lay waste to the $7 billion Great Lakes commercial fishing industry and the 800,000 jobs it supports.

Read Presidential leadership against against carp? Go fish here.

The other article says that Jerry Rasmussen, a former biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “blames the importation of the fish, as well as a political system that bends over backward to promote and protect commerce, yet fails to protect the environment.”

Rasmussen also says this:

"When the USFWS was criticized for the importation of Asian carp many years ago, it turned over the program to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"All federal and local officials wanted to do were help Southern fish farmers. They didn't care about what would happen when these fish got loose. The ponds used by fish farmers are built on river bottoms and can't be drained.

Today, Illinois officials keep dragging their feet, Rasmussen said, believing that it's more important to keep barges moving through a canal than to seal off the Chicago waterways from the Great Lakes to keep out the Asian carp.

"The [federal] Asian carp czar (John Goss) listens to the interests of commerce," Rasmussen said. "Goods being shipped down the Chicago Canal that could just as easily be moved by train and truck. Politicians don't want to do anything.”

Read ‘Wonder fish’ turns into environmental piranha: The battle against Asian carp here.

Friday
Jan282011

Asian Carp Discussed --- and Cussed --- at Michigan Meeting

 

Oh, boy. Carp czar John Goss just told those at a Traverse City public meeting that the feds have the situation well under control in regards to keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes and  preventing them from wrecking a billion-dollar sport fishery.

"It’s a very serious threat, but in this unique situation we are ahead of the establishment of a new environmental species. We do have the opportunity . . . to come up with a good long-term solution,” Goss said.

Opportunity? Maybe. Decisive action that will protect the lakes with certainty? Not likely.

Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette said, "If we keep dragging out these studies and surveys, we'll find the Asian carp have reached the Great Lakes and that's just an unacceptable risk to our environment and our economy," Schuette said.

Marc Smith of the Natiional Wildlife Federation added, "We just don't see why it should take five years from start to finish. There's just a lack of urgency on the part of the Corps."

Friday
Jan142011

Michigan Continues Fight to Keep Carp Out of Great Lakes

 

 

 

Michigan has renewed its efforts to keep Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes and potentially devastating a billion-dollar-sport fishery.

If carp are denied entry into the Great Lakes --- and, sadly, I don't think that they will be--- it will be despite the feds, not because of them. Alongside Illinois, they have put up barriers against the efforts of Michigan and other Great Lakes states, instead of against the carp, to keep them from migrating from the Mississippi River basin and into Lake Michigan through a manmade connection.

Already carp DNA has been found in mulitiple places above the electric barrier and a live carp was found above it as well. In response, the Obama administration appointed a carp czar and initiated a five-year study.

As a result, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that he will keep the pressure on to stop carp from entering the Great Lakes through Lake Michigan. In a press release provided me by Rick Balabon of the Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen's Association, Schuette said:

Continued