Anglers want more done to stop Asian carp
Bob Gross, Times Herald Published
Bob Kanas said he was fishing for the dumb ones Tuesday at Vantage Point in Port Huron.
"If he was smart, he wouldn't bite," said the Columbus Township resident.
No matter their IQ, he wants nothing to do with Asian carp.
"They are not good for this ecosystem," he said.
Under pressure from members of Congress representing the Great Lakes states, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday released a draft study of alternatives for improving Asian carp defenses at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam on the Des Plaines River, near Joliet, Illinois.Bottom of Form
Henry Alva and his son, Gabriel, catch silver bass in the St. Clair River. Bob Gross, Times Herald
The preferred alternative to keep the invasive species from swimming up the river close to the Great Lakes would use noise, electric barriers, water jets and a flushing navigation lock.
The Detroit Free Press reported on Monday the cost of implementing the plan would be $275.3 million plus $20 million annually to maintain and operate the barriers.
To compare, the annual budget for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is $300 million.
Bob Kanas fishes at Vantage Point on Tuesday. He said more needs to be done to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. (Photo: Bob Gross, Times Herald)
According to the Free Press, the Corps has estimated even with the barriers, bighead and silver carp would have a 10 percent to 17 percent probability of reaching the Great Lakes.
Kanas said that's not good enough.
"Hell, no — how about a 0 percent chance?" he said as he was reeling in a white perch. "These guys aren't supposed to be in this lake, either.
"But here they are."
Drew YoungeDyke of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Office in Ann Arbor, said 0 percent would be ideal but "it's not politically viable.
"There’s no one magic silver bullet that on its own is going to make sure Asian carp won’t get through."
He said the Corps needs to keep adding defenses.
The price tag, he said, seems large until it is compared with the $7 billion generated by sportfishing in the Great Lakes.
"We have to analyze (the option) more fully before we can do our full comment," he said, "It is a promising option to reduce the chance of Asian carp getting into the Great Lakes.
Bob Kanas' son, Scott, said he caught and released about 30 silver bass at Vantage Point. He lives in Wales Township and was pessimistic about the chances of keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.
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"They're going to come here sooner or later," he said.
He said, however, the investment to slow down the spread of the invaders has to be made.
"It needs to be done," he said. "It's going to wipe the Great Lakes out."
Asian carp's impacts in the Mississippi River basin have ranged from depleting the food chain to imperiling boaters. The fish have a habit of jumping when disturbed, and YouTube is filled with videos of whole schools of carp flying through the air.
"It's going to worse here," Scott Kanas said. "The walleye industry will crash. Boats will be real cheap."
Henry Alva was catching plump silver bass with his son, Gabriel, 11. He said he lived in south Florida after leaving the military before coming home to Michigan and saw the effects of invasive fish such as snakeheads and peacock bass.
Gabriel Alva, right, lands a silver bass for his father, Henry Alva, Tuesday at Vantage Point. Henry Alva said more needs to be done to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. (Photo: Bob Gross, Times Herald)
"We don't like any of that stuff," he said.
"There's some bad things going on in the waters," Alva said. "We try to keep abreast of it and pray.
"Pray that people make the right decisions."
The Brandon Road draft feasibility study and environmental impact statement is online at http://glmris.anl.gov/documents/docs/brandon-rd/GLMRIS-BR_Draft_Report.pdf. People can comment on the plan until Sept. 21 at http://glmris.anl.gov/brandon-rd/draft-comments/