(01/22/14) - A threat moving toward Lake Michigan could dramatically change all
the Great Lakes if something isn't done soon.
That's according to Senator Debbie Stabenow, who is calling for action to stop the spread of Asian carp.
Stabenow wants the public to voice their concerns about the Asian carp threat. She pushed for that at the Cabela's store in Saginaw Township.
The problem, the Senator says, is that these invasive fish could hurt the regions multi-million dollar boating and fishing industries.
"This is critically important for the Saginaw Bay and the whole region to make sure these fish do not get into the Great Lakes," Stabenow said.
Asian carp feed on endangered species of mussels and snails and disrupt local food webs, ultimately killing off other species.
While the fish have not been spotted in the Great Lakes yet, Stabenow says their DNA has been found in the area and it's only a matter of time before they arrive.
"We have a tremendous recreational fishery for perch, walleye and other fish on the Saginaw Bay. Asian carp will without a doubt out compete those for food and resources in the bay," said Michael Kelly, of the The Conservation Fund.
Stabenow says she has been trying to stop the fish since 2007. Electric barriers and other tactics have been used to keep the fish out, but those are only temporary solutions.
"It would be terrible 20 years from now to say we should have done something today," said Pete Studders, of Linwood.
Stabenow says a recent report by the Army Corps of Engineers lists eight different ways to prevent their migration from the Chicago Area Waterway to Lake Michigan, but it does not say which proposal would be the best or most cost efficient.
Stabenow says it is critically important to make the best choice from that list so congress can take action and get to work protecting the Great Lakes.
"Everyone needs to get engaged, tell the Army Corps of Engineers, 'We don't need eight solutions, we need one and we need one that makes sense for us to permanently solve the problem and we need it as quickly as possible,'" she said.
If you'd like to contact the Engineers, uou can submit comments HERE, or send them to:
US Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District
231 S. LaSalle St. Suite 1500
ATTN: GLMRIS Comments, Dave Wethington
Chicago, IL 60604
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