MILWAUKEE (AP) - All 16 U.S. senators from Great Lakes states sent a letter
Wednesday to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, urging quick action to stop
the movement of Asian carp.
The senators want fast action to stop the invasive fish from swimming up the
Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal into the lakes.
The letter was sent one day after news broke that Asian carp DNA had been
detected for the first time in Lake Michigan waters off Wisconsin, the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Under orders from Congress, the Army Corps has been studying the problem of
invasive carp making their way to the world’s largest freshwater system for
several years. The Corps is scheduled to release a plan to block the fish in
“It is our understanding that this report will provide a set of alternatives
for Congress to assess but will not include a formal recommendation of which
alternative would be most effective in preventing species, like Asian carp,
from transferring between the two basins in the long term,” the senators
wrote in the letter, according to the Journal Sentinel.
“It is our expectation that the Corps will work with Congress, our staff,
and regional stakeholders before and after the report is issued so that we
can expeditiously determine how to best move forward with a comprehensive
approach to address Asian Carp and other aquatic invasive species.”
The senators represent Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana,
Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.
The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal is considered the primary invasion
pathway for two species of Asian carp - bighead and silver. The canal was
built more than century ago to flush sewage toward the Mississippi River and
down to the Gulf of Mexico.
The only thing now standing between the Asian carp-infested Mississippi
River basin and Lake Michigan is an electric barrier on the canal that has a
history of power outages and was not turned up to a voltage strong enough to
repel juvenile fish until 2011.