Chicago — No one is using “Carp Czar” in his official title, but
John Goss is in essence exactly that.
On Sept. 8, Goss, a former top official with the Indiana DNR,
was named federal Asian carp director – basically the front-line
person in charge of keeping Asian carp from swimming up the Chicago
canal into Lake Michigan.
Quite expected, the news was lauded by conservation and
environmental groups in the Great Lakes region.
“We need stronger federal leadership and more immediate and
effective action if we are going to prevent Asian carp from
establishing a breeding population in the Great Lakes,” the
Alliance for the Great Lakes, Great Lakes United and the National
Wildlife Federation said in a written statement.
DNR Director Marc Miller said Illinois welcomes Goss’ knowledge
and fresh perspective.
“The creation of this position further demonstrates that the
Asian carp issue is not just a challenge for Illinois but the
entire nation,” Miller said. “As a former DNR director in Indiana,
John’s knowledge of natural resources and background in government
is welcomed by Illinois and other states. DNR looks forward to
working with Mr. Goss in our efforts to keep Asian carp from
establishing a self-sustaining population in the Great Lakes.”
Goss’ appointment came just as a federal judge considers a
request from a handful of other Great Lakes states to close two
Chicago navigation locks to thwart the carp’s advance. The ongoing
battle over Illinois’ responsibility in preventing the advancement
of carp led to the creation of a $78 million project by the federal
government. Goss will now lead the initiative.
The most recent news on the carp science involved University of
Notre Dame biologist David Lodge, who contended that there is an
imminent risk of a Great Lakes invasion if more is not done to
prevent carp progression.
John Goss image courtesy of the Indiana DNR.