Asian Carp

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Asian carp were introduced into the United States by fish farmers who wanted to control aquatic vegetation in their fish farms in the lower Mississippi River Basin. Unfortunately, during flood events they escaped their fish ponds and have been steadily moving up the Mississippi River toward the Great Lakes. Along the way they have devastated native fish populations. The four species of Asian carp comprise almost 95% of the biomass at some sampling sites in the Mississippi River. If the carp get into the Great Lakes, most likely at Lake Michigan through the Chicago Area Waterway System, they will be a serious threat to recreational and commercial fisheries in the Great Lakes, which are valued at billions of dollars annually. In January 2014, the US Army Corps of Engineers submitted to Congress the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study Report (GLMRIS). GLMRIS outlines a number of options to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp and other invasives species moving into the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River, and to protect the Mississippi River from invasives species getting into the Mississippi River system from the Great Lakes. Congress is actively considering the GLMRIS report.

 

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