Asian carp treading water in election year

Toledo Blade

This is not a good moment in time if you are one of the guardians of the Great Lakes.

For the fishermen, conservationists, recreational boaters, tourist-centered businesses, and the thousands of property owners and millions of citizens who have a stake in the health of the lakes, an election year is a very poor time to have your 9-1-1 call receive the appropriate response.

While the political forces with the muscle to at least temporarily barricade the door and keep Asian carp out of the most precious cache of freshwater in the world are increasingly distracted with the counter-punching of the campaign, the carp will just keep coming.

These invasive and ultra-aggressive fish slipped out of sewage lagoons and fish farms in the south decades ago during periods of flooding and have been on a relentless march up the Mississippi River and its tributaries ever since. The Asian carp are like the mythical army of Xerxes -- they overwhelm anything in their path.

Because they consume massive amounts of plankton and phytoplankton, Asian carp eat away the foundation of the food web, choking out the preferred native fish such as bass, perch, and walleyes. They are the thugs, the bullies of the neighborhood and in charge wherever they go.

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Asian carp treading water in election year »