Senators from Great Lakes states urge comprehensive Asian carp p - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Senators from Great Lakes states urge comprehensive Asian carp plan

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Washington, D.C. -

(11/11/13) - They're a threat to the ecosystem and the $7 billion a year fishing industry in the Great Lakes.

Asian carp can grow to be a hundred pounds, eat all the food around them, and even injure people when they jump out of the water.

Last year, President Obama signed the Stop Invasive Species Act into law -- a bipartisan piece of legislation that mandates the Army Corps of Engineers come up with a plan to permanently prevent the fish from entering the Great Lakes.  That report is due at the end of the year.

"We're concerned they're not going to be as specific as they need to be. They've got to do that. They've got to meet their deadlines," Michigan senator Debbie Stabenow told Washington correspondent Ted Fioraliso.

Stabenow, and Ohio Senator Rob Portman, co-authored the Stop Invasive Species Act.  Last week, the 16 senators from states that surround the Great Lakes sent this letter to the Army Corps, calling on them to identify remaining steps to cut off all Asian carp entry points into the Great Lakes.

"The Army Corps had focused on just one watershed – The Mississippi River. Now, we have them focused on that, and also more broadly," explained Portman.

Portman says two grass carp were recently found in the Sandusky River – a tributary, which flows into Lake Erie. He's afraid the more destructive Asian carp, could follow suit.

"If you get this invasive species in there – the Asian carp, it could ruin the fishery over time. And as you know, Lake Erie has a lot of invasive species. This is one we don't want," he said.

Time is of the essence. In September, an Asian carp was found near the Calumet River, which feeds into Lake Michigan.

"The Army Corps has got to give us some specific ways so we can work from an engineering standpoint to change the flow around the rivers so that we are protecting the Great Lakes," said Stabenow.


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