Over on Absolute Michigan we’ve posted Michigan Invasive Species: Asian Carp that takes a look at what is likely the greatest threat to fishing in Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes that we’ve seen. Imported by Mississippi catfish farmers in the 70s, Asian carp escaped during flooding in the 1990s and have marched up the river to the point where their knocking at the door in Chicago (they may have even passed through). Asian Carp and the Great Lakes from the Great Lakes EPA says:
Asian Carp are a significant threat to the Great Lakes because they are large, extremely prolific, and consume vast amounts of food. They can weigh up to 100 pounds, and can grow to a length of more than four feet. They are well-suited to the climate of the Great Lakes region, which is similar to their native Asian habitats.
Researchers expect that Asian carp would disrupt the food chain that supports the native fish of the Great Lakes. Due to their large size, ravenous appetites, and rapid rate of reproduction, these fish could pose a significant risk to the Great Lakes Ecosystem.
Fishing is big business in Leelanau and Michigan and an even bigger part of what makes us a premier tourist destination. I’ll leave you with a request to talk with your elected representatives about doing everything they can to stop this invader. Here’s a frightening video of Asian carp in action.
Photo Credit: Fish… ! by John Levanen