U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, author of the Stop Invasive Species Act that was signed into law by President Obama in July 2012, made the following statement today after the discovery of an Asian carp in Flatfoot Lake, which is extremely close to Lake Michigan.
"There are thousands of Michigan jobs that rely on the Great Lakes, and we need more than temporary fixes," Stabenow said. "If Asian carp are not stopped before they enter the Great Lakes, they could destroy the ecosystem, as well as the boating and fishing industries, and hundreds of thousands of jobs. We passed bipartisan legislation to require the Corps to finally make stopping Asian carp a top priority, and the Army Corps needs to follow the law and complete its work."
The 53-inch, 82-pound carp was caught in Flatfoot Lake near Chicago. Flatfoot Lake is located next to Calumet River, which feeds directly into Lake Michigan. Recent research found that as few as 10 Asian carp are needed to establish a breeding population, which illustrates the potentially devastating effects Asian carp could have on the Great Lakes' ecosystem.
This discovery further underscores the Army Corps of Engineers' responsibility to find a solution for keeping Asian carp, and other invasive species, from entering the Great Lakes. The Stop Invasive Species Act, written by Senator Stabenow and Congressman Dave Camp, requires the Army Corps to deliver concrete options, including full hydrological separation of the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River basin, to stop Asian carp. The bill passed Congress and was signed by President Obama last year.