Two Southwest Michigan lawmakers are asking for the public’s help in protecting the Great Lakes, calling on residents to sign a petition to stop Asian carp from infiltrating Lake Michigan.
State Reps. John Proos and Sharon Tyler on Wednesday (January 27th) added the online petition, www.stopasiancarp.com, to their websites. Asian carp are an invasive species that eat much of the food necessary to sustain native fish populations such as trout and bass. Asian carp DNA has already been detected past an electronic barrier constructed to stop the fish, and have been found within eight miles of Lake Michigan.
“The Asian carp are an invasive species that will devastate the ecosystem of the Great Lakes,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Their effects on the Great Lakes will devastate our local economy – both our fishing and tourism industries. Michigan’s economy and ecology are at stake, and we are calling on the federal government to act now.”
The lawmakers said that the carp will not only devastate the fishing industry in the state, they have also proven dangerous to boaters who have been hit by the fish that can weigh up to 70 pounds, as one of the two species can jump up to 10 feet out of the water.
Last week the Supreme Court denied the Michigan attorney general’s request to force the closure of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to keep the Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. By signing the petition, lawmakers are hoping to convince seemingly unwilling federal authorities to close the Chicago locks and protect Lake Michigan. Michigan is joined by Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Ontario in this fight.
“The fight against Asian Carp is frustrating because we’re trying to sound the alarm but nobody seems to be listening,” said Tyler, of Niles. “Once Asian carp get into Lake Michigan, there is no way to stop them. To protect our Great Lakes and our tourism industry, the president needs to take action before it is too late.”
Residents can join the fight to protect the Great Lakes by signing an online petition that can be found on Tyler and Proos’ websites sites at www.gophouse.com.
Source: News release from Michigan House Republicans