© 2021 MICHIGAN RADIO
91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 91.3 Port Huron 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Environment & Climate Change
Asian carp have been making their way up the Mississippi River system for years after escaping from fish farms and wastewater treatment ponds in the southern U.S.They’re knocking on the door of the Great Lakes, and a number of people are concerned about what could happen if carp become established in the region.In this five-part series, we’ll take a look at what officials are trying to do to keep the fish out, what might happen if carp get in, and why some people want to turn carp into a business opportunity.

Carp czar says faster action plan 'unrealistic'

Bighead Carp Lake Calumet June 2010.jpg
(Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources)
/
An Asian Carp caught in a canal a short distance from the entrance to Lake Michigan last year

The Obama Administration’s point man on the Asian Carp crisis says there’s no way to speed up the efforts to permanently keep the invasive fish from reaching the Great Lakes.

The Asian Carp have destroyed native fish populations in the Mississippi River and have swum within a few miles of Lake Michigan.  There are concerns that if Asian Carp enter the Great Lakes ecosystem, they will overwhelm and destroy the region's multi-billion dollar fishing industry.

Several members of Congress want the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to speed up their 5 year review of possible action plans to stop the carp. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says time is important.

“We have to have a sense of urgency about it. The Army Corps is studying this issue now, but it’s going to take them several years…we don’t have several years. We need to get this done as quickly as possible.”

But Obama Administration Carp Czar John Goss says the 18 month schedule proposed by members of Congress is not enough time. 

“Realistically I think it’s going to take substantially longer than that to get the right solution in the long term.”

Major General John Peabody is the commander of the Corps of Engineers ‘Great Lakes & Ohio River’ Division. He says finding a solution will take more than 18 months. 

“I never say never, because you don’t know what you don’t know about the future. But in our judgment it’s not possible because of the complexity of the situation.”

The president’s top people on the Asian Carp crisis held a public hearing today in Ypsilanti.

Related Content