U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow made the following statement on the first-ever discovery of Asian carp DNA in Lake Michigan.
"This alarming discovery underscores the need for immediate action to permanently protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp," said Stabenow. "These fish could destroy the Great Lakes ecosystem, as well as boating and fishing industries and hundreds of thousands of jobs. The Army Corps of Engineers needs to quickly get substantive proposals for stopping Asian carp to Congress as the law requires. Then those proposals need to get implemented as soon as possible."
The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel today reported that one eDNA sample taken in May returned a positive identification for Asian carp. The sample was one of 282 taken from Sturgeon Bay on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan as part of an ongoing invasive species survey. While the presence of eDNA does not necessarily indicate the presence of fish, the finding is the latest piece of evidence that indicates Asian carp moving steadily toward the Great Lakes. More work will be done in the weeks ahead to test more samples in the area.
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 and establishing breeding populations. The Stop Invasive Species Act, written by Senator Stabenow and Congressman Dave Camp, requires the Army Corps to deliver to Congress by year's end a number of concrete options for permanently stopping Asian carp. This bill passed Congress and was signed by President Obama last year.