Holding an Invasion at Bay
Print Media |
Tue - April 5, 2011
Holding an invasion at bay
Our Mississippi - Asian Carp
Multi-front ‘war’ aims to stop invasive species spread
Our Mississippi Magazine | Spring 2011
Head to the invasion front of one of the
country’s most heavily publicized battles, and you’ll find
seasoned fishermen, muscles honed from long days hauling
net-loads of massive, wriggling Asian carp.
For much of the coming month, government-funded crews
will be hauling the voracious eaters, several tons at a time,
with the goal of clearing as many as possible from the Illinois
River, and as quickly as they can, before the fish can spawn.
Nearby are the scientists. On any given day, biologists like Kelly
Baerwaldt of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can be found
implanting the invasive silver and bighead carp with special tracking
devices to monitor their movements or sampling the water
column to see if their DNA has spread to new locations.
In all, the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee has
initiated some 45 projects funded with more than $50 million
in federal resources. The intent is to halt the potential spread of
these two species of Asian carp from the Mississippi and Illinois
Rivers before they can reach the Great Lakes and potentially
destroy the prized fishery. Nearly $50 million more is budgeted
for the coming year. MORE...