Army Corps of Engineers, which recently sent the proposal to Congress. It calls for installing technologies such as underwater noisemakers, electric barriers and "bubble curtains" at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois, about 40 miles from Lake Michigan. The structure is a crucial line of defense between the lake and the carp-infested Illinois River.
Study: Asian Carp Could Find Plenty of Food in Lake Michigan
Michelle Morin-Doyle, chairwoman of the cities group and deputy mayor of Quebec City in Canada, says people created the Asian carp problem and are responsible for solving it. Click Here to access the online Public Inspection File. Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below.
Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at , TTY , or fccinfo fcc. Public File Liaison: Jane Ploeger jane. In those areas you can't target the fish, the native fish that you used to, because of the abundance of the Asian carp.
Silver carp in Fox River, a tributary of the Illinois River
So we've kind of had to join in and— and just catch the Asian carp. Gilpin says, before this program, he was struggling to make a living fishing, let alone on Asian carp, which hasn't caught on widely as food. So this program has helped him out a lot and his father, who's out here fishing, too. At the end of each day, the fishermen tow their catch to a nearby town. The carp are transferred to huge bins and stored in a refrigerated truck. Anyone can come get them, free of charge. They just can't be eaten by people, since they went a few hours without being refrigerated.
So they're made into things like fish fertilizer and bait. The day we were there, a pet food maker showed up to gladly take the free ingredients. We load up, I got coolers of ice, we're gonna ice it down, tarp it, I'm gonna take it home and get it processed. Since this program started in , the state says it has caught 7. Do you hope someday that you can just stop— stop fishing for Asian carp in this part of the river? It'd be great, right? I'm — I'm concerned with people thinking eradication is — is the ultimate goal. It — it's really, really hard to do.
And that's why, there's a whole new line of carp defenses being planned at the Brandon road Lock and Dam about 10 miles before the existing electric barriers. The Army Corps is proposing to install more electric barriers, underwater sound machines to scare the fish and something called an "air bubble curtain" — to flush out any carp caught between barges traveling through. It's very easy to automatically come to the conclusion that the sky is falling.
And so, this is why it's so important that we not have a knee-jerk reaction to this. Meanwhile, the state of Michigan has is gung-ho, even launching a campaign to pressure Illinois to take a stronger stand. But the money is an issue. Congress must now approve the plan and provide some funding. Previous talks between Illinois and Michigan about sharing the remaining costs are now up in the air, given the new price tag — and the fact that new governors are taking over both states this month.
While the politicians sort it all out the fishermen in Illinois continue their work hauling ton after ton of bighead and silver carp. But with the abundance of the fish it's kind of given us another outlet. It's kinda — it's kind of a blessing and a curse. It — it may be our savior. She was also recently awarded a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship to report on the issue of mental health.
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Midwest battles to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes | PBS NewsHour Weekend
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. Transcript Audio. Megan Thompson: Charlie Gilpin Jr. I've been doing it for about 22, 23 years.
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Megan Thompson: Like a typical fisherman, Gilpin gets an early start. Megan Thompson: What comes next — not so typical. Megan Thompson: This is how you catch Asian carp. The loud sounds startle the fish and push them into the nets. The other unusual thing — these fish jump. Kevin Irons: So whenever any of these carps are out of balance, there's too many of them, they're going to have catastrophic ecological effects.
Megan Thompson: There are four types of Asian carp, but bighead and silver cause the most trouble. Joel Brammeier: So places that were once prized fisheries for a fish like small mouth bass or walleye become primarily Asian carp habitat. Joel Brammeier: But it also created a whole set of new problems.
Megan Thompson: Brammeier says, Asian carp in the Great Lakes could spell disaster for the region's environment and economy, which is highly dependent on tourism and sportfishing. Megan Thompson: And then there's that issue of all that jumping. Joel Brammeier: Where they've really gotten established, they've basically shut down streams and lakes from recreation, because for one, when you powerboat through Asian carp habitat, silver carp in particular jump out of the water, and can actually hit people in the boats.
Megan Thompson: Over the last two decades, officials across the upper Midwest have been sounding alarms and spending hundreds of millions of state and federal dollars to try to keep the fish out. Chuck Shea: We actually have three operating electrical barriers.
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Megan Thompson: Chuck Shea is a project manager for the U. Chuck Shea: So the electricity is very rapidly turning on and off.. Megan Thompson: Three sets of several 8-ton steel bars send electrical pulses into the water above. Chuck Shea: As a fish comes into the electrical field, it gets a stronger and stronger electrical shock. Megan Thompson: Shea says this is the largest barrier of its kind in the world. Chuck Shea: They should watch any children or pets that are onboard, and everybody should stay away from the edges of the boat. Megan Thompson: Do you ever just look at this and think, oh, my gosh, all of this for some fish?
Chuck Shea: Well, it's more than just fish, though. Megan Thompson: Shea says, the barrier's been successful in protecting those benefits- scientists tag fish downstream and have never seen any tagged fish get through. Chuck Shea: It would be very difficult for any fish to swim directly through the electrical fields when they are on and operating. Megan Thompson: In fact, in , an Asian carp was found beyond the barrier, about 9 miles from entering Lake Michigan.
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Del Wilkins: And in this region, you know, we ship probably 25 to 35 million tons annually in the region. Evelyn Sanguinetti: In our waterways, there is commerce. Megan Thompson: Since those discoveries of carp beyond the electric barrier, the state of Illinois has launched a number of projects to keep them out of the Great Lakes. Evelyn Sanguinetti: It goes with that other campaign that we have, which goes something like this, "If you can't beat 'em, then you eat 'em. Megan Thompson: That's right — the state's trying to get people to eat Asian carp, a fish that Americans have never embraced as food.
Student: That's really good. Megan Thompson: But the state program that pays fishermen like Charlie Gilpin Jr to catch as many fish as they can is making the biggest dent. Kevin Irons: It's all Asian carp all the time is our little mantra.