Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

MI Attorney General Steps up Calls for Asian Carp Measures

From the editors:

The following news release was issued by the official state
of Michigan web site, about the ongoing efforts to stave off
significant spread of Asian carp in the Great Lakes… 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has announced he will
renew efforts to protect Michigan’s environment and economy by
continuing Michigan’s lawsuit aimed at stopping the march of Asian
carp into the Great Lakes. Schuette was joined by Gov. Rick
Snyder’s Office of the Great Lakes Director Patty Birkholz and the
Michigan United Conservation Clubs.

“Standing by and letting Asian carp invade the Great Lakes would
be an unprecedented ecological and economic disaster,” said
Schuette. “We must defend Michigan’s unique environment and fight
to keep Michigan jobs.”

Schuette met with leaders of Michigan’s environmental and
sportsmen’s communities this week to form a united front in the
fight to block Asian carp. These groups included MUCC, Trout
Unlimited, Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen’s Association,
National Wildlife Federation, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council,
Nature Conservancy, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“The imminent invasion by Asian carp through the Chicago area
waterways is one of the most significant threats ever to the Great
Lakes,” said Patty Birkholz, the Director of Gov. Rick Snyder’s
Office of the Great Lakes. “As a state, we must join with others
and take all necessary actions to stop the invasion. The Office of
the Great Lakes and others in the Department of Natural Resources
and Environment stand ready to help any way possible.”

“Asian Carp prevention is of critical importance to the ecology
and economy of the Great Lakes,” said Dr. Bryan Burroughs,
Executive Director, Michigan Trout Unlimited. “Unfortunately, it
appears that it is going to take much work to make the clear
solutions happen. Fortunately, we have an Attorney General that
remains committed to doing everything within the judicial branch to
continue moving us to a solution. We are grateful for Mr.
Schuette’s commitment to this important fight.”

“The sportsmen and women of Michigan and the Great Lakes region
deserve better than the Army Corps of Engineers’ lackluster efforts
to stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes,” said Erin
McDonough, MUCC Executive Director. “We expect our federal and
state leaders to take immediate, aggressive actions that will
preserve our sportfishing heritage and $7 billion Great Lakes
sportfishery. MUCC applauds Attorney General Schuette’s commitment
to live up to this expectation by continuing Michigan’s legal front
to protect the Great Lakes and our outdoor heritage.”

“Asian carp pose an extreme threat to the Great Lakes and our
economy. If these monster invasive fish colonize the Great Lakes,
the damage will be devastating,” said Andy Buchsbaum, Regional
Executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great
Lakes Regional Center. “But so far, the response of the federal
government has been too slow, particularly in pursuing an effective
permanent barrier that will once and for all keep the invasive carp
out of the lakes. For that reason, National Wildlife Federation
supports the efforts of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to
spur the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to install a permanent
barrier to stop the carp.”

Schuette’s suit calls for both long-term and immediate actions
by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water
Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

· Schuette is asking the Court to force the Army Corps of
Engineers to shorten its planning to create a permanent ecological
barrier between the Mississippi and Great Lakes from five years to
18 months. This is vital to stopping not only the flow of invasive
species into the Great Lakes, but to stop their movement down into
the Mississippi basin.

· While the study is being completed, Schuette is asking

o Increased activity in a number of areas to stop the Asian
carps’ advance, including:

o Operating locks in a way that limits the movement of the

o Installing other interim physical barriers to fish

o Increased monitoring for evidence of the fish beyond current
electrical barriers using the best available techniques, including
environmental DNA (eDNA)testing; and

o Targeted poisoning and netting in Chicago-area waterways.

Schuette noted that the eDNA technology employed by the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers to detect the presence of Asian carp beyond
barriers in the Chicago area was validated earlier this month by a
paper published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal,
Conservation Letters, published by the Society for Conservation
Biology. It is this information that has played a key role
Michigan’s case before the U.S. District Court for Northern
Illinois in Chicago.

Based upon his expertise in invasive species and the results of
eDNA testing in Chicago waterways, independent expert witness Dr.
David Lodge of the University of Notre Dame has testified that the
threat of an Asian carp invasion is real. In fact, Dr. Lodge
testified, “there is a risk, a very imminent risk of invasion,”
later adding that such “invasions are often irreversible.”

The repeated discovery of Asian carp eDNA beyond electrical
barriers in Chicago, in addition to the discovery of a live carp
beyond the barrier, brought together a coalition of five Great
Lakes states in the suit, with Michigan being joined by Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania on July 19, 2010.

The most recent district court action on the case occurred on
January 7, 2011 in which the Court considered plans to schedule the
ongoing suit. In addition, Michigan has filed an appeal of a
December 2, 2010 ruling that denied Michigan’s motion for a
preliminary injunction that would put immediate remedies in place,
such as closing locks and increasing monitoring, as the underlying
case goes forward. Michigan’s brief supporting its request for the
preliminary injunction is due to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
7th Circuit by January 26, 2011.

Renewed Congressional action is another important avenue to
address the Great Lakes states’ concerns. The CARP Act and the
Permanent Prevention of Asian Carp Act were both sponsored by U.S
Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) in the 111th Congress. The
legislation mirrored Michigan’s motion for preliminary injunction,
calling for immediate actions to block the passage of Asian carp
into the Great Lakes and requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
to expedite a study to determine the best way to permanently
separate the Mississippi River Basin from Lake Michigan.


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