With 36 percent of the Great Lakes’ surface water in its jurisdiction, Ontario has much at stake in the battle to stop the spread of voracious – and potentially dangerous – invasive Asian carp. In fact, Michigan (with more than 40 percent of Great Lakes surface water) is the only governmental entity that faces a greater risk.
That’s why provincial leaders have joined the new Great Lakes Basin Partnership to Block Asian Carp, which is promoting awareness of the benefits of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to stop the spread of the invasive fish.
If the carp enter Lake Michigan through the Illinois River, it wouldn’t take long for them to arrive on the shores of each Great Lake that Ontario borders – Superior, Huron, Erie and Ontario – where they would immediately begin to wreak untold environmental and economic damage.
“The threat of an Asian carp invasion is a major concern,” states the “Ontario’s Great Lake Strategy” report. “Asian carp could devastate ecosystems and fisheries.”
Among the devastation they would cause:
- Severe degradation of the Lake Erie commercial and sport fishery, one of the most valuable and popular in the world
- Boaters would face danger because invasive silver carp (which can weigh 100 pounds) are known for leaping out of the water – and sometimes into watercraft – when disturbed by motors
- A drop in the quality of life for Ontarians who swim, fish and otherwise recreate in the Great Lakes
- A loss of property values along the 10,000 kilometers (6,213 miles) of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River shoreline
There’s a plan to stop this disaster!
To block the invasive carp migration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed installing a combination of fish deterrents at the Brandon Road Lock & Dam on the Des Plaines River in Illinois.
Michigan stands ready to commit funding to begin implementing the plan immediately and is calling on all other states and provinces bordering the Great Lakes to add their support.
Together, we can protect and preserve our Great Lakes!