Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Trout Unlimited Take Action Against Asian Carp

Alright readers, I ask for your help on this one. It was brought to my attention in an email to me this morning ( that Trout Unlimited is asking people to send a letter through their "Take Action" program. Thanks to Chris S. for sending me the link and description, I'm pleased that we are forming a community of like minded, responsible anglers and lovers of the Great Lakes region.

The letter is simple and quickly filled out and can be done here at this link:

This is a copy of my version of the letter, much of it is filled in already for you (you may change it if you feel so inclined) and the last paragraph or two was added by me.

Action Item:Protect The Great Lakes (Residents IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, PA, WI)
Date Sent:12/9/2009
Description:Demand that Federal and State Agencies Take Aggressive Action Now to Protect the Great Lakes from Asian Carp
I am writing to ask that you take the most aggressive action possible to prevent the colonization of Asian carp in the Great Lakes. This would jeopardize the world’s greatest freshwater treasure by displacing native fish, disrupting a sport fishing industry worth $7 billion annually, and potentially harming boaters and other people recreating in the lakes and their tributaries.

The recent application of rotenone, a piscicide, to the area between the electric barriers and the Lockport Lock during routine maintenance, falls far short of the necessary actions to prevent further invasion by Asian carp and their colonization in Lake Michigan. In addition, the canal system that currently connects the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River systems needs to be seriously reexamined. One major rainfall could inadvertently allow invasive carp to breach the already thin barriers to their migration. Specifically, we ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, Illinois and Indiana Departments of Natural Resources, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other members of the Asian Carp Rapid Response Team to implement the following recommendations:

1) Immediately close all the locks between the electric barriers and Lakes Michigan effective immediately, specifically O’Brien, Wilmette and Downtown Chicago Locks;
2) Aggressively expand the fish control and removal operations to all areas above the electric barriers up to Lake Michigan;
3) Continue and expand frequent monitoring of the Chicago rivers and canal systems and nearby areas of Lake Michigan;
4) Develop and implement a plan to decommission the canal and lock system to permanently sever the connection between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes drainages.

Trout Unlimited has more than 35,000 members living in the Great Lakes states and a long history of native fishery and habitat restoration work in the Great Lakes and its tributaries. On average, each Trout Unlimited chapter contributes more than 1,000 volunteer hours working with government agencies, private landowners, local schools, and others in their communities to improve rivers and streams though clean-up days, tree plantings and other activities and to support policies and programs that will protect and improve river and fishery health. To protect the many investments that TU has made in the Great Lakes and tributary resources, we again urge you to take immediate and aggressive actions to stop the spread of Asian carp.

I am an avid angler and lover of the great lakes. I actively teach others about the treasure we have in such a great resource and I personally would be devastated to see that resource compromised by yet another invasive specie.

Please do everything you can. This is important.

Again, thanks to Chris S for getting this to us, and please send the letter for yourself if you feel strongly about this. Follow this link to get to the letter.

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