The threat of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes, including Lake Erie and possibly destroying a multi-million dollar fishery, may be impossible to stop. WBFO News contributor Ray Marks spoke with one expert who has followed the issue for over 10 years. Tom Marks -- no relations to Ray Marks -- is director of the New York State Great Lakes Sports Fishing Council.
Thursday, Western New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter applauded new efforts to protect the Great Lakes. Slaughter is a Ranking member of the House Rules Committee. She is reacting to the release of the Obama Administration's 2012-Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework. It outlines several new initiatives to combat the spread of Asian Carp and prevent their movement toward the Great Lakes.
“I applaud these new measures to protect the ecosystems and economies that depend on the Great Lakes,” said Slaughter. “We must continue to fight for a permanent solution to the Asian Carp threat, which, in my view, requires a permanent separation of the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River basin. This month, I called upon the Army Corps of Engineers to accelerate their study of this critical issue and I will continue to do all I can to protect our greatest local treasure – the Great Lakes.”
The 2012 framework updates the past work of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, which released the original Asian Carp Framework in February 2010 and a subsequent report in 2011. The Asian Carp Framework details necessary measures to control and prevent the spread of Asian Carp. Highlights from the 2012 report include:
· Deployment of new alternate traps and nets and other technologies to enhance Asian carp capture rates.
· Implement DNA sampling at priority Great Lakes locations with particular focus on southern Lake Michigan and western Lake Erie.
· Initiate design and construction of the permanent barrier to replace Barrier 1.
Slaughter said they must continue to fight for a permanent solution to the threat of Asian Carp. Slaughter said she feels it requires a permanent separation of the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River basin. Slaughter says this also keeps up the pressure on the U-S Army Corps of Engineers to accelerate the Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin study.
Earlier this month Western New York Congressman Brian Higgins and other representatives of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force sent a letter urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use of newly released data to shorten the timeframe for action to protect the Great Lakes.