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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.

Midland congressman calls out Army Corps for stalling on Asian carp plan

Asian carp leaping out of a river.
Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Asian carp leaping out of a river.

Michigan congressman Dave Camp is calling out the Army Corps of Engineers for dragging its feet on a plan to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.

Camp released a statement this morning claiming the Corps is ignoring the timeline for completing a plan set out in the Stop Invasive Species Act, legislation he wrote with Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Camp’s law called for a plan to be in place by January 2014

“As Asian carp draw closer to the Great Lakes every day, the Army Corps of Engineers has chosen to work even slower on developing a solution, in direct contravention to the law Congress passed earlier this year. This is unacceptable. The 700,000 people whose jobs depend on the Great Lakes fishery cannot continue to wait on the Corps. I plan to hold the Corps accountable for openly flouting the direction given to it by Congress,” Camp said.

Senator Stabenow concurs with Camp’s assessment the Detroit Free Press reports.

Stabenow, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, agreed with Camp that the Corps’ “refusal to follow the law and submit a complete plan to stop Asian carp is completely unacceptable.” She noted that Asian carp DNA has been detected in the Great Lakes – specifically in western Lake Erie last month – though no live carp have been found to have spread into the Great Lakes and the DNA may have gotten there by other means. But Stabenow said the evidence of DNA is enough to raise concerns and that “temporary fixes have proven inadequate.”

For more on  Asian carp see the Environment Report's  five-part series on the fish.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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