Tracking the Threat and Politics of Asian Carp

Imported from Taiwan and brought to Arkansas as weed control agents three decades ago, Asian carp have become the poster children of potential threats to the Great Lakes. As the fish inch closer to invading Lake Michigan, regional and national politicians debate the financial consequences of coping with the invasive species. With the fate of multi-billion dollar a year industries on the line, the Obama administration has offered some fiscal support to quell the storm.

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Video used by special permission of Primitive Entertainment.

Meanwhile Michigan’s Lt. Gov. has taken his case to the Supreme Court twice, hoping for sweeping action. The conflict ignites deep-rooted water debates, including resource rights, diversion legitimacy, and long-term conservation planning. As action remains slow and debates continue, the invasive species become increasingly more threatening to the region.

The Silver Menace, or Battle for the Great Lakes

Supreme Court Rejects Michigan’s Asian Carp Lawsuit
Michigan’s effort to bring the Asian carp fight to the U.S. Supreme Court came to an abrupt end Monday with a terse two-sentence denial from the court. Read more…

Supreme Court To Take A Second Look at Michigan’s Asian Carp Injunction
The high court originally rejected a request to order Chicago-area locks closed to keep the invasive fish out of the Great Lakes. Read more…

Block Those Flying Fish: Great Lakes Politicians Pressure Illinois, Washington on Asian Carp
More than 100 anglers, business executives and residents packed the glass atrium at Northwestern Michigan College’s Hagerty Conference Center last Wednesday. Read more…

Q&A : U.S. Congressman Dave Camp On Asian Carp
U.S. House Representative Dave Camp represents a legislative district that covers a huge swath of Michigan’s lower peninsula including the Leelanau Peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan. In January, the Michigan Republican introduced the Close All Routes and Prevent Asian Carp Today bill, also known as the CARP ACT, to the House. Read more…

Q&A: Michigan Attorney General Talks about Asian Carp
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox waded into the Asian carp fight in December with a U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit that would close Chicago-area locks that could allow Asian carp into the Great Lakes. Cox, a Republican who is running for governor, sought a permanent separation between the Great Lakes and the carp-infested Illinois River. Read more…


Great Lakes Cleanup To Get $2.2 Billion in Federal Funding
The EPA plan released Sunday aims to clean up top pollution sites; block toxic runoff from cities and farms; restore sensitive wetlands; and establish a “zero tolerance policy” toward invasive species like the Asian carp. Read more…

EPA Gets an Earful Over Asian Carp Plans
A public meeting on Friday drew a large crowd that was divided over solutions to keeping the invasive fish out of the Great Lakes. Read more…
Congress Holds Hearing to Debate Closing Chicago-Area Locks
A Great Lakes expert warned members of a U.S. House subcommittee Tuesday that closing off the canals that link Chicago to the freshwater bodies is the only way to keep invasive species like Asian carp from migrating in and out. Read more…
Time Line: Charting Asian Carp’s Course
Four species of Asian carp were first imported into Arkansas in the early 1970s. Since then the voracious, rapidly multiplying fish have migrated northwards, edging ever-closer to the Great Lakes. Read more…

Obama Administration Pledges $78.5 Million To Fight Asian Carp; Great Lakes Governors Want More Than Cash
A $78.5 million pledge from the Obama administration and a plan for part-time closure of Chicago-area locks isn’t enough to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp, Michigan’s governor declared Monday. Read more…

Video: Invasion of the Asian Carp, from the Waterlife Documentary
Second fisherman: You don’t have to catch them; they get right in the boat with you. You don’t believe me, do you.
Third fisherman: We get hit by ’em all the time, hit in the head and hit in the chest. They knock glasses off and knock teeth out, everything. Yeah, they’re bad.Read more…

Asian Carp Threat Prompts Protest Near Lake Michigan Shore
Fishing enthusiasts and state representatives rallied on the banks of Traverse City’s Boardman River Saturday against Illinois’ opposition to the closure of Chicago-area locks.— Read more…

Legal Battle Over Asian Carp in the Great Lakes Heats Up
The White House responds to calls for a Great Lakes summit to protect the lakes and their $7 billion sportfishing industry from the invasive species. Photo Copyright. Read more…

Michigan Takes Asian Carp Fight Back To the Supreme Court
Michigan’s Attorney General Mike Cox has filed a new Supreme Court motion to sever the connection between the carp and the Great Lakes, saying that claims by Illinois of $190 million in annual damages from lock closures are “seriously exaggerated.” Read more…

Supreme Court Declines To Wade Into Asian Carp Fight, Worrying Great Lakes Governors
The battle over Asian carp intensified Tuesday as the U.S. Supreme Court declined to order an immediate closure of Chicago-area locks that could let the invasive fish enter the Great Lakes. Read more…

Video: Filmmaker Kevin McMahon Tells the Story of the Great Lakes
From Canadian filmmaker Kevin McMahon comes Waterlife — a cinematic survey of the state of the Great Lakes in Canada and the United States. Read more…

Asian Carp Knocking at the Great Lakes’ Door; Michigan Attorney General Seeks To Slam It Shut
New threat to the lakes reopens century-old legal battle over diversion of Great Lakes water, draws support from several states and Ontario. Read more…

Towards a Blue Economy: Michigan’s Freshwater Future
John D. Cherry Jr., Michigan’s lieutenant governor, spent eight days last month on a trade mission to Israel and Dubai, and returned with inked deals for start-up technology projects with two Israeli water companies. Read more…

Asian Carp Links

Steve Kellman is a Circle of Blue writer and reporter. Reach him at circleofblue.org/contact.

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