Asian Carp White House Summit


#1

Has anyone heard the results of the White House summit on the “Asian Carp Crisis”? I am not sure if it has even been held yet.


#2

I did a forum search on asian carp and I am suprised nothing came up.

I guess this is more of an Inland, Great Lakes, and Western Rivers issue than blue water. But I think there are some brown water sailors on here too. And there has to be more and more joining everyday because I have found that this site can be a great resource for any mariner.

In case you are reading this thread and have no idea what I am talking about there is a big hullabaloo over the asain carp right now and its possible effects on the Great Lakes.

I work in the areas in question. And I can say with great confidence that no fish could live through the “Electrical fish barrier” that has been built on the Illinois River. When we go through this thing there are sparks flying and ground wires throw big blue lightening bolt arcs. The fish sense this electrical field in the water and stay well clear of it.

To see a pros and cons arguement on the issue I would refer you to a back and forth I had with a proponent of closing the locks that lead to the Great Lakes. This can be found at http://maritimeprofessional.com/Blogs/Maritime-Musings/January-2010/Chicago-Sanitary-and-Ship-Canal.aspx

If you don’t care to follow the link I will give you a brief summation. Many Great Lake state governments are banding together to shut the locks that lead from the Illinois River to Lake Michigan. The asian carp has severely infested the Illinios River and parts of the Mississippi River. It is an environmentally destructive species. It eats anything and everything including native fish eggs and sea weed.
You may have seen footage of fish jumping out of the water at boaters. The carp do not like the sound or vibration created by motors in the water. They jump out of the water and head butt whatever it is making the noise as a defense reflex. There have been incidents of people getting seriously hurt by these fish. If you are doing 60 mph in your bass boat you might want to duck. A 30lb carp can do some damage to your face when it hits you at that velocity.
Getting back to the summation…For all intensive purposes the spread of the carp has been halted at or below IR Mile 296 by the electrical fish barrier. There was a fish kill conducted above and below the fish barrier a couple months ago while the barrier was being serviced. Only one asian carp was found. This fish was found below the fish barrier.
There has been much hysteria surrounding this fish. And with good reason. It could possibly do some very serious damage to the Great Lakes fisheries.
But the extremists refuse to recognize that the fish barrier is working. They want to shut down the locks in this region and thus halt all commercial and recreational shipping traffic from the Illinois river to Lake Michigan.
This would do serious damage to the local and national economy.

I am trying to follow this issue closely because if they shut down the locks I am out of a job. And right now is not the best time to be job hunting.

If you have any new information on the summit or would like to contribute to this thread in an intellegent and non sarcastic manner please do.

If your intent is to try to insight a “flame post” I will not respond. I will however be more than happy to report you to Doug Pine.

I made a mistake a couple weeks ago in letting a few drag me down to their level. I apologize to the moderators of this site for that. I will handle issues such as that in a different manner from now on.

Thank you in advance for any usefull contributions to this thread.

Mike Bolinger


#3

Hey Mike

Very, very interesting.

I just saw this:

http://www.wkbt.com/global/story.asp?s=11949337

So, it looks like they’ll meet today, 08 Feb.

I look forward to hearing the outcome…


#4

Here’s what some enterprising Cajuns are considering doing about the carp. Hey, a re-name is easy!

www.houmatoday.com:80/article/20100124/ARTICLES/100129628

And another:

Went through the fish barrier last October, but missed seeing the sparks and blue arcs, maybe because we were in a fiberglass boat. You had to call in as you approached, then check in with the Coasties in a small RIB at either end. Wow, what boring duty! They had a Porta-Potty near the boat.

Apparently the Supreme Court may be asked to hear the case again because additiona Asian Carp… er, Silverfin… DNA was found even closer to Lake Michigan. The discovery was found 3 days before the last Supreme Court hearing on the matter, but the information was not released until after the court had ruled.

As the rudder turns…


#5

IF we could only convince the Japanese that they were a delicacy, they would be gone in no time.


#6

For Mike and others interested in the ongoing carp capers, here some more recent info:

http://www.tradeonlytoday.com/home/502565-asian-carp-on-washingtons-agenda-this-week

The page has some additional links you can also explore.


#7

No question this is an important issue from both sides:

  1. If the fish do get into the Lakes there will be some impact on the environment
  2. If the locks (Chicago and O’Brien) there will be some economic stress on an already strained industry

Here is the rub . . . why have they gone this far? For years it was a big joke on U-Tube and other internet sites; “Hey, look at the goofy red-necks fishing with baseball bats and waving nets in the air!” Now, after almost one thousand river miles, with the fish knocking on the door, it is a crisis. What a mess. People knew these fish were moving north and yet it has only been in the last few years, as the existing barrier was failing, that it became a huge issue. Those fish were introduced into the US as an “aid” to aqualculture for keeping ponds clear of algae and guess what? Like all animals, when allowed to get loose, they found a way to survive and thrive. The unintended consequences of a “good idea” are coming around to bite us in the biscuit. Great.


#8

[quote=trekleader;26680]Hey Mike

Very, very interesting.

I just saw this:

http://www.wkbt.com/global/story.asp?s=11949337

So, it looks like they’ll meet today, 08 Feb.

I look forward to hearing the outcome…[/quote]

Thanks for the link. Read it. And even the AP can’t get it right. The carp have not been found in the Chicagoland area yet. Yes, they have reached as far North as Starved Rock Lock IR 240 or so on a large scale. They have been found as far North as Lockport Lock IR 293 on a small scale. But they have not made it past the electrical fish barrier yet.

Yes, the supreme court has agreed to hear the case again but my understanding was because the suit was filed against the wrong party. The fact that DNA has been found North of the barrier has not been kept secret. From what I heard this was one of the arguements presented to the court.

However there is a difference between the DNA and the actual fish. A seagull could eat an asian carp and then deposit droppings North of the barrier causing DNA to be found. Just because they found DNA does not mean the fish are there.

Find me a fish and I will believe it. And if you do find a fish it is already too late. It would then be time to control instead of contain.

From what I have heard the carp do not like deep cold water. That is where the majority of Great Lakes game fish live.

A 50lb Brown Trout or Steelhead would kick an asian carp’s butt in a fight and the asian carp minnow would make just as good of a meal for these fish as a shiner or native minnow.
Northern Pike or Musky might not be able to eat this fish because of its size but they will attack anything that threatens their nest. So even if the carp does spread to the Lakes I don’t think the infestation will become as severe as it has on the rivers.


#9

[quote=water;26684]Here’s what some enterprising Cajuns are considering doing about the carp. Hey, a re-name is easy!

www.houmatoday.com:80/article/20100124/ARTICLES/100129628

And another:

Went through the fish barrier last October, but missed seeing the sparks and blue arcs, maybe because we were in a fiberglass boat. You had to call in as you approached, then check in with the Coasties in a small RIB at either end. Wow, what boring duty! They had a Porta-Potty near the boat.

Apparently the Supreme Court may be asked to hear the case again because additiona Asian Carp… er, Silverfin… DNA was found even closer to Lake Michigan. The discovery was found 3 days before the last Superior Court hearing on the matter, but the information was not released until after the court had ruled.

As the rudder turns…[/quote]

Yes you went through right after they turned the juice up. You are right. Because you were on a fiberglass boat you did not get to see the light show. The puddle pirates were making you check in and out at first and observing the effects of the increased current. For several weeks you could not even transit the barrier unless you were in a steel hulled boat. That really put the kabosh on recreational boat traffic for some time.

Funny how they renamed them. My understanding is that farm ponds along the Illinois that got flooded out were the initial cause of the infestation.

I was just joking the other day with a LA pilot. He said all they needed to do was get Boudrauex and Thibidauex up here with their perots to solve the problem. An army of coonasses could clean the river up in a few months. Funny stuff. He said, “Oooo ya, dey will make you want to lick yo ass fo seconds”. Funny stuff. Leave it to the cajuns to find a way to eat something. Lots of “Tony’s” and cayanne and anything tastes good.

Thanks for the humor


#10

I think carp are considered a delicacy in France. They are just to darned boney for most to mess with. We have always considered them a trash fish. Fun to shoot with your bow or 12 guage and leave laying for the scavengers.

I am glad some are trying to find alternatives to the problem though. It would be great if they could establish a commercial fishing market for these stupid fish.


#11

[quote=kzoo pilot;26699]No question this is an important issue from both sides:

  1. If the fish do get into the Lakes there will be some impact on the environment
  2. If the locks (Chicago and O’Brien) there will be some economic stress on an already strained industry

Here is the rub . . . why have they gone this far? For years it was a big joke on U-Tube and other internet sites; “Hey, look at the goofy red-necks fishing with baseball bats and waving nets in the air!” Now, after almost one thousand river miles, with the fish knocking on the door, it is a crisis. What a mess. People knew these fish were moving north and yet it has only been in the last few years, as the existing barrier was failing, that it became a huge issue. Those fish were introduced into the US as an “aid” to aqualculture for keeping ponds clear of algae and guess what? Like all animals, when allowed to get loose, they found a way to survive and thrive. The unintended consequences of a “good idea” are coming around to bite us in the biscuit. Great.[/quote]

I agree. But this situation is much like the zebra mussel infestation or the lamprey infestation. Nothing was done to stop the spread of the zebra mussel that was introduced via dirty ballast water from saltys deballasting in the Lakes. Same with the lampreys.

The lampreys only became a problem for the lakes and never spread south. The zebra mussels however can now be found as far south as NOLA.

The lampreys are a nuiscense yes. But they have not devestated the fishery. Pest yes. Killer no.

Zebra mussels are a pain in the butt. They clog water intakes and weigh down ATONS but is that a reason to shut down the locks?

If you wait for the government to act they will always be a day late and millions of dollars short.

I will be curious to see what solutions they come up with in this summit. Predator species? Massive fish kills? Close the locks?

Again I say that closing the locks will do no good. The fish eggs will still be spread by waterfoul to the lakes. And it will have been all for nothing.

If it is going to happen it is going to happen. The line of thinking should be future control in addition to containment in the present.

A little more food or fish for thought…if the fish has been spreading uncontrolled for years now why did they not infest the lakes before the fish barrier was installed? Is it because the lakes are really not that good of an environment for these fish to populate? The water is deep and cold. There is little to no seaweed for them to eat. The fish that lay eggs in the tributaries protect their nests is some cases. The fish that they will be competing with are much larger and are not as succepatable to devestation as a river fish. Lake trout and salmon can weigh in as much as 100lbs or more.

All of the footage of rednecks with football helmets and baseball bats has been in shallow water, muddy rivers. Not the deep and vast cold water of the lakes.

Thanks for the contribution


#12

Plenty of fishermen in N.E. out of work since n.m.f.s. has decided they’re too good at what they do.
Put them on the assignment and the problem would be a non-event in a short time.
Carp have value if for nothing else but industrial animal and farmed fish feed .
Any 'Gator farm would love to use them.


#13

[quote=Mike Bolinger;26711]I agree. But this situation is much like the zebra mussel infestation or the lamprey infestation. Nothing was done to stop the spread of the zebra mussel that was introduced via dirty ballast water from saltys deballasting in the Lakes. Same with the lampreys.

The lampreys only became a problem for the lakes and never spread south. The zebra mussels however can now be found as far south as NOLA.

The lampreys are a nuiscense yes. But they have not devestated the fishery. Pest yes. Killer no.

Zebra mussels are a pain in the butt. They clog water intakes and weigh down ATONS but is that a reason to shut down the locks?

If you wait for the government to act they will always be a day late and millions of dollars short.

I will be curious to see what solutions they come up with in this summit. Predator species? Massive fish kills? Close the locks?

Again I say that closing the locks will do no good. The fish eggs will still be spread by waterfoul to the lakes. And it will have been all for nothing.

If it is going to happen it is going to happen. The line of thinking should be future control in addition to containment in the present.

A little more food or fish for thought…if the fish has been spreading uncontrolled for years now why did they not infest the lakes before the fish barrier was installed? Is it because the lakes are really not that good of an environment for these fish to populate? The water is deep and cold. There is little to no seaweed for them to eat. The fish that lay eggs in the tributaries protect their nests is some cases. The fish that they will be competing with are much larger and are not as succepatable to devestation as a river fish. Lake trout and salmon can weigh in as much as 100lbs or more.

All of the footage of rednecks with football helmets and baseball bats has been in shallow water, muddy rivers. Not the deep and vast cold water of the lakes.

Thanks for the contribution[/quote]

Not quite true about sea lamprey . . . once the Welland connected the St. Lawrence and Ontario to the upper Lakes they essentially wiped out the commercial fishery for lake trout. American brook lamprey, silver, and chestnut lamprey are native to the lakes but are small and, I believe, only the chestnut lamprey is predatory and that for only a very brief period after they emerge from the strata of their birth streams. The silver and brook lamprey are filter feeders throughout their developmental stages while buried in the river bottom and once mature live only long enough to mate and spawn. Their sucker mouths are used only for moving stones to build their nests. (Sorry for getting off topic there for a sec)

. . . Anyhow, the sea lamprey were and continue to be a serious issue to cold water fish. Only with regular lampricide treatments are the spawning rivers of these creepy things kept relatively clear of the adult spawning lamprey. In the '80’s it was not unusual to have almost every lake trout that we caught on northern Lake Huron and every other chinook salmon to either have a fresh lamprey scar or boat the fish with the lamprey still attached. Nasty little critters.

As far as zebra mussels are concerned, they have cleared the suspended sediment in shallower water but since they are filter feeders I think an argument could be made that they are a concentrator of contaminents. If the migrating waterfowl are consuming them instead of aquatic plants (which seems to be the case) they are in turn concentrating toxins in bluebills and goldeneyes. Is this a cause of the long term decline in nesting success of these ducks on the prarie and Canadian boreal forest? You have to wonder.

Lots of issues, not many “good” answers.


#14

Here’s a summary from today’s summit:

Reported by: [I]WMBD/WYZZ TV News Staff[/I]

[I]Monday, Feb 8, 2010 @05:43pm CST[/I]

WASHINGTON, DC - Winter weather didn’t put a damper on the Asian carp summit at the White House. The Obama Administration has pledged to give more than $78-million toward keeping the invasive species out of the Great Lakes. This after the Commander in Chief meets with the governors of several Midwest states. Officials say if the carp were to reach Lake Michigan it could destroy the ecosystem and the multi-billion dollar fishing

http://centralillinoisproud.com/content/fulltext/?cid=98081


#15

Mike - Where was the arcing? Between the barges, barges & tow boat, or tow and the walls?

Yes, for awhile late last August, RV’s couldn’t go through. Then in mid-September they could, but only if the were cold and dark, towed through by a steel hull boat for $600.

By mid-October RV’s were going through under their own power, but all crew had to be inside with PFD’s on.


#16

[quote=kzoo pilot;26720]Not quite true about sea lamprey . . . once the Welland connected the St. Lawrence and Ontario to the upper Lakes they essentially wiped out the commercial fishery for lake trout. American brook lamprey, silver, and chestnut lamprey are native to the lakes but are small and, I believe, only the chestnut lamprey is predatory and that for only a very brief period after they emerge from the strata of their birth streams. The silver and brook lamprey are filter feeders throughout their developmental stages while buried in the river bottom and once mature live only long enough to mate and spawn. Their sucker mouths are used only for moving stones to build their nests. (Sorry for getting off topic there for a sec)

. . . Anyhow, the sea lamprey were and continue to be a serious issue to cold water fish. Only with regular lampricide treatments are the spawning rivers of these creepy things kept relatively clear of the adult spawning lamprey. In the '80’s it was not unusual to have almost every lake trout that we caught on northern Lake Huron and every other chinook salmon to either have a fresh lamprey scar or boat the fish with the lamprey still attached. Nasty little critters.

As far as zebra mussels are concerned, they have cleared the suspended sediment in shallower water but since they are filter feeders I think an argument could be made that they are a concentrator of contaminents. If the migrating waterfowl are consuming them instead of aquatic plants (which seems to be the case) they are in turn concentrating toxins in bluebills and goldeneyes. Is this a cause of the long term decline in nesting success of these ducks on the prarie and Canadian boreal forest? You have to wonder.

Lots of issues, not many “good” answers.[/quote]

thanks for the schooling on the lampreys. Knew they were a problem but never knew to what extent until now. Did not know about the zebra mussel/waterfoul relationship either. Very educational for me and others I am sure. I live on southern lake michigan so I am very unaware of the happenings up north. thanks again. mike


#17

[quote=water;26724]Here’s a summary from today’s summit:

Reported by: [I]WMBD/WYZZ TV News Staff[/I]

[I]Monday, Feb 8, 2010 @05:43pm CST[/I]

WASHINGTON, DC - Winter weather didn’t put a damper on the Asian carp summit at the White House. The Obama Administration has pledged to give more than $78-million toward keeping the invasive species out of the Great Lakes. This after the Commander in Chief meets with the governors of several Midwest states. Officials say if the carp were to reach Lake Michigan it could destroy the ecosystem and the multi-billion dollar fishing

http://centralillinoisproud.com/content/fulltext/?cid=98081[/quote]

I like obama but once again he is writing checks that his government probably won’t be able to cash. Hopefully the monies will be made available if he is not made a lame duck by events of late.


#18

[quote=water;26725]Mike - Where was the arcing? Between the barges, barges & tow boat, or tow and the walls?

Yes, for awhile late last August, RV’s couldn’t go through. Then in mid-September they could, but only if the were cold and dark, towed through by a steel hull boat for $600.

By mid-October RV’s were going through under their own power, but all crew had to be inside with PFD’s on.[/quote]

After the Corps turned the juice up the puddle pirates wern’t taking any chances. All tugs if using non metal face lines had to have ground wires. The sparking and arcing would take place if there was paint or space between the ground wire and the boat or barge. Arcing to the boat and barge is common.
No flammable tank barges without a bow assist boat to prevent you from touching the bank and causing additional arcing.

Yes no rvs for awhile. then no rv’s with anyone on board under their own power. Now rv’s ok. They had to have some test runs to make sure gas powered rv’s wouldn’t blow or people wouldn’t be zapped.

The idea of having a ground wire and bow boat is to prevent arcing especially on a tank barge. But even if you have a pretty good ground arcing is common. I guess the CG figured since no barges blew that a little sparking is going to be the norm. They were observing all traffic on camera and watching the effects for several months.


#19

Mike,
Is the Steve McKinney still around Cal Harbor? We used to see her quite a bit, but with the fall off in our business over there (most of the tfc going go to Burns Harbor now) we don’t get many boats past TOT anymore.


#20

the carp? too many variables involved in trying to stop them from expanding their range, the deterministic nature of these systems does not make them predictable or controllable, ie once they were let loose into the water their expansion was assured: this is the chaos theory at work.

a better use for our money would be a study to plan for the future involving the carp.