On Monday November 22, 2010 Bryan Burroughs, Tom Quail & Dan Keifer attended the MDNRE Asian Carp Workshop. The purpose of this workshop was to update, discuss, and instruct with participants what Asian carp are, what the threat is, what's being done on a state, regional and federal level, and what the various agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineering, are doing to understand and develop a strategy to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. There were also discussions, breakout sessions, updates and strategies on what to do if Asian carp get into the Great Lakes.
Attached are the materials we received at this workshop including the Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s Proposed Plan for the Prevention, Detection, Assessment, and Management of Asian Carps in Michigan Waters.
WASHINGTON - John Goss, the Council on Environmental Quality’s Asian Carp Director, has invited all Great Lakes states to join the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC). The ACRCC is charged with establishing a unified response to Asian carp across all levels of government to prevent environmental and economic damage to the Great Lakes. Coordination among Federal, state and local governments will ensure the most effective strategy and actions necessary to combat the spread of Asian carp.
Currently, each Great Lakes state is in the process of selecting two natural resource or environmental staff members. Identified individuals will ensure that the concerns of each state are represented within the ACRCC.
Please check their website in the coming weeks to learn who will be serving as state representatives! - www.asiancarp.org
I wanted to take a quick minute, prior to the weekend, to provide you with some new information on the Asian Carp issue. We don’t always take the time to communicate it – but we are spending time trying to affect positive results on it.
This week the MI Attorney General’s office filed a new motion to the Supreme Court, with the new and pertinent information concerning eDNA samples discovered in Lake Michigan (which was not provided by the Army Corp in a timely manner when the Supreme Court was making their original determination). Information on this new motion can be found at the AG’s website, and can be reached as well – through their website www.stopasiancarp.com which is linked to on our website www.michigantu.org. This represents a continued attempt to do everything within MI’s power to help stop the colonization of these fishes into the Great Lakes.
On Monday there will be a congressional meeting on this subject (remember Rep Camp and Senator Stabenow from MI have concurrent bills introduced, referred to as “the Carp Act”, that would force the US Army Corp of Engineers to take appropriate actions – which they have failed to do so far). There will be lots of great testimony given at the meeting – including MDNRE Director Humphries. TU Governmental Affairs staff will provide written testimony in support of the bills – and will be in attendance at these meetings. An action alert is being prepared as we speak, by TU Nat’l to be emailed to all members of TU – asking for them to voice their support for the Carp Act. This should be ready by early next week.
The president and GL governor’s meeting was this afternoon. The President announced an action plan – of which the details are currently unavailable. However, it appears that the plan will not take all necessary and prudent precautions. This meeting was on Monday afternoon – so little news about the outcomes are yet available. I’m pasting one message below – which was from Gov. Granholm’s press office at http://bit.ly/ctjfNH
Another news source available was at http://bit.ly/b1NIuY
No doubt many papers will release stories on this by morning – just thought I’d share what is available immediately (nothing was available on the White House website yet).
As many of you are aware, the situation with Asian Carp invading the Great Lakes has been frustrating, with Federal agencies and the Supreme Court failing to take action to prevent the colonization of these fish into the Great Lakes. Today I am writing you to finally provide you with some encouraging news.
Yesterday, Senator Debbie Stabenow and Representative Camp both introduced a legislative bill, “the Carp Act”, that would force the US Army and federal agencies into action. The bill makes mandatory, numerous actions that are wise and justified - but have not yet occurred. They are actions necessary to stave off the unimaginable damage that Asian Carp will have on the ecology and economy of the Great Lakes. We can be thankful for the leadership our delegates are having on such a difficult issue.
I am also asking that you take this opportunity to send your comments of support for this legislation to our congressional delegates - you can reference it as “the CARP ACT” (#CAM10024). This bill is attached to this email for your review. Thank you for taking the time to support this important effort. From here on out we are all going to have to help work for more good news and progress on this issue.
An update on information regarding the efforts to keep asian carp from entering the Great Lakes in the Chicago area.
The report from Marc Gaden at Great Lakes Fisheries Commission (GLRC) below provides some further detail about the efforts of state and federal agencies to respond to the situation on the Chicago & Des Plaines Rivers.
Also, I recently inquired about what the State of Michigan is doing to help deal with the issue. I heard back from managers at DNR Fisheries Division, who reported that Michigan DNR has been responding to the need for immediate action over in Illinois. Michigan DNR Fisheries has rounded up its total supply of rotenone (the chemical used to kill unwanted fish), several hundred gallons of it, and staged it at a central facility so it can be shipped to Illinois DNR. Michigan DNR has also offered use of two of its boats and crews to apply the chemical, as well as share DNR's experience with large-scale rotenone treatments. I am told that Illinois DNR is the agency taking the lead on this, along with logistic support from GLRC.
That's the short-term situation. Beyond that, it is encouraging to read GLRC's statements in support of restoring the physical/biological separation between the Chicago Sanitary/Shipping Canal and the Great Lakes as the only true solution to keeping more invasive species from entering there.
It is important for all anglers to get behind this issue. Hearing the voices from anglers who can speak first-hand about the economic and recreation value of Great Lakes fishing will help keep the sense of urgency needed to get this job done. If we could somehow turn back the clock and have prevented the sea lamprey and zebra/quagga mussel from doing their damage to the Great Lakes, who would not want to do that? Great Lakes stakeholders have the chance now to keep the next big unwanted invasion out.
Michigan TU Conservation Committee