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Asian Carp Invasion

The Environment Report has been covering the introduction of the Asian Carp species since January of 2000, when catfish farms in the south were importing them to control pests. The fish have since spread throughout the Mississippi River system. Millions of dollars of taxpayer money have been spent to try to keep these foreign species from swimming into the Great Lakes. Some scientists say their presence in the Great Lakes would be an "ecological disaster." Today, evidence of an Asian Carp species was found above an electric barrier designed to prevent their movement into the Great Lakes. Here's the latest on the carp from NPR News, and here's a look back at The Environment Report's coverage with more stories certainly to come. (Photo by Kate Gardiner)

INTERVIEW: ASIAN CARP (1/20/10)

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned down a request from Michigan and other Great Lakes states. They wanted the locks in a canal to be closed immediately. That man-made canal artificially connects the Mississippi River system and the Great Lakes. For now at least, those locks will stay open to cargo traffic. This fight is all about a fish, a type of Asian Carp, that many people don't want to get into the Great Lakes. Lester Graham spoke with David Jude about the threat of the fish. Jude is a research scientist and fish biologist at the University of Michigan.

ASIAN CARP UPDATE (1/18/10)

A big monster of a fish is at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case. Asian Carp are making their way up the Mississippi towards the Great Lakes. Michigan's Attorney General filed a lawsuit asking the Court to close a Chicago canal in order to keep the carp out. The shipping industry says, "No can do." Jennifer Guerra has a closer look at what's at stake.

INTERVIEW: BIG, NASTY FISH (10/23/09)

There is a man-made canal that connects the Mississippi River system with the Great Lakes. The Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal makes shipping cargo between the waterways possible. It also makes it possible for invasive pests in the water to invade both systems. The big concern right now is a big, nasty group of fish known as Asian Carp that's already invaded the Mississippi and some of its tributaries. An electric barrier has been built in the canal to try to stop the fish from getting into the Great Lakes. Lester Graham talked with Jennifer Nalbone about the problem. She's the Director of Navigation and Invasive Species with the environmental group Great Lakes United.

EATING ASIAN CARP (4/20/09)

There are rivers in the Midwest that are just flush with fish. Normally, that would be great, but these are two species of invasive Asian Carp -- and they shouldn't be there in the first place. These foreign fish breed so quickly and grow so large, they push out native fish species. There are entrepreneurs who dream of getting rid of Asian carp. Shawn Allee looks at what they've cooked up and whether it could do any good.

INTERVIEW: KEEPING ALIEN INVADERS OUT (2/2/09)

Nature never made a connection between the nation's big rivers and the Great Lakes. But Chicago did. A canal was dug connecting the Mississippi River system -- including the Missouri, the Ohio and all their tributaries -- to all of the Great Lakes at a point on Lake Michigan. It opened up commercial shipping to the interior of the nation. But it also opened up both bodies of waters to aquatic life you don't want traveling back and forth. Invasive species such as the zebra mussel have traveled from one to the other. Asian Carp have already caused havoc in the Mississippi. Some biologists worry the Asian Carp will destroy the four-billion dollar fishing industry in the Great Lakes if it gets in. There's an electric barrier in place, but some people don't think that's enough. Joel Brammeier is with the environmental group Alliance for the Great Lakes. His group is proposing a barrier that will separate the Mississippi system from the Great Lakes completely, to stop those invasive species. He talked with Lester Graham about the barrier.

ASIAN CARP BARRIER ON LOW (12/22/08)

A stronger electric barrier to keep an invasive fish out of the Great Lakes is set to be turned on. But people who travel past the underwater barrier are worried about electric shocks. Chuck Quirmbach reports.

KEEPING A BIG FISH FROM BUTTING IN (7/7/08)

There are invasive fish swimming their way toward the Great Lakes. If they get in, they could swallow up a multi-billion dollar sport fishing industry. Mark Brush reports, officials are investing millions of dollars to keep Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes.

CONGRESS REJECTS CARP BARRIER FUNDING (11/14/05)

The Asian Carp is a big eater... and it's moving closer to the Great Lakes. Great Lakes states are hoping to stop the carp with electric barriers on the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal. But as the Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Rebecca Williams reports, a Congressional committee voted against operating money for the barriers.

BUBBLE BARRIER TWEAKED FOR ASIAN CARP (9/5/05)

Scientists across the region are expanding their arsenal of technology to fight invasive species. One research team hopes to use sound and bubbles to keep an invasive fish out of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Shawn Allee has more.

NEW BILL AIMS TO BAN ASIAN CARP IMPORTS (6/27/05)

A new bill in Congress aims to ban the importation and possession of a fish that threatens the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Chuck Quirmbach reports.

CAN CARP EGGS GET AROUND BARRIER? (4/11/05)

By summer's end, officials from the Army Corps of Engineers and the state of Illinois hope to finish an underwater electric barrier in a canal just south of Chicago. The barrier is designed to repel invasive fish such as the Asian Carp. But some environmentalists fear the barrier won't be enough to keep the voracious, non-native species out of Lake Michigan. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Shawn Allee reports.

CARP BARRIER WORKS OUT ANOTHER SNAG (1/17/05)

Two federal agencies say they've worked out safety problems that might've caused delays at a new electric barrier designed to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Chuck Quirmbach reports.

ASIAN CARP BARRIER NOT ENOUGH? (1/10/05)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is building a nine million dollar electric barrier to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. But now the Corps is warning the fence in Romeoville, Illinois, might not be enough. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lynette Kalsnes reports.

LOBBYING FOR A SECOND CARP BARRIER (1/3/05)

A new barrier is being constructed to prevent the Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes. But this year, a Congresswoman will seek money to keep an existing barrier in operation, as well. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Chuck Quirmbach reports.

CONGRESS APPROVES ASIAN CARP BARRIER FUNDING (10/11/04)

The U.S. House and Senate recently passed a bill that will help keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Celeste Headlee reports, the federal government will contribute nearly two and a half million dollars to help repel the fish.

IJC ASKS STATES FOR ASIAN CARP BARRIER MONEY (5/31/04)

Officials from a joint U.S./Canada Commission that monitors the health of the Great Lakes is asking states and provinces in the region for help. The International Joint Commission wants the governments to chip in money to make sure that Asian carp don't invade the Great Lakes and decimate the fishing industry. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Bill Cohen reports.

ASIAN CARP BARRIER ESCAPES BUDGET CUTS (5/15/04)

The war against terrorism nearly led to a biological invasion of the Great Lakes. The Army Corps of Engineers was struggling to find money for a barrier to stop Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes. It wasn't until a strong letter from 24 members of Congress was sent to the Corps that the money was found. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lester Graham reports.

BAN PROPOSED ON LIVE CARP IMPORTS (2/23/04)

Another major piece is about to fall into place in the battle to contain the Asian Carp from spreading into the Great Lakes. Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources is set to slap a ban on importing the invasive carp. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Dan Karpenchuk reports.

GETTING ASIAN CARP ON THE PLATE (11/10/03)

An invasive species known as Asian Carp is migrating toward the Great Lakes. Some scientists fear the Asian carp will harm sport fishing in the lakes, if the carp ever get past some man-made barriers. Anglers, state conservation officials and others are trying to get the invasive fish on Congress's plate... and even on yours. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Chuck Quirmbach has the story.

ASIAN FOOD STORES ADDING TO CARP PROBLEM? (4/21/03)

Over time, invasive species have upset the natural balance of the Great Lakes. Now, officials are working frantically to stop a new threat, the Asian carp. The carp lives in tributaries connected to the Great Lakes. But there may be another route into the water system -- through Asian food stores. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Karen Kelly reports, live carp can be purchased in many cities throughout the region.

MANMADE DEAD ZONE TO BLOCK ASIAN CARP? (3/3/03)

The Asian Carp is a huge fish that's native to China. It was brought over from China and during the Great Flood of 1993 escaped from farm ponds and got into the Mississippi River. The Asian Carp competes with native fish and destroys their habitat. Researchers worry that if the Asian Carp gets into the Great Lakes, it could damage the lakes' ecosystems. Some scientists believe that the threat of this invasive fish to the Great Lakes fishing industry is great enough to take drastic measures. One proposal would kill part of a river that connects the Mississippi River System to the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Annie MacDowell reports.

KILLING RIVER TO STALL SPREAD OF INVASIVES? (12/23/02)

Biologists are trying to prevent invasive species such as the Asian carp, from traveling between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basin. The latest plan proposed by some scientists is to remove all the oxygen from a section of the Chicago River. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Annie MacDowell has more.

FEDS INVEST TO STOP INVASIVES THREAT (11/25/02)

Emergency money is being spent to stop an exotic invader. Some experts think the Asian carp could be a ecological disaster for Lake Michigan. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Mike Simonson reports on recent measures to stop the fish.

NEW BUBBLE BARRIER TO REPEL ASIAN CARP? (10/7/02)

The Asian carp is threatening to invade the Great Lakes. Right now there's an electric barrier in the Chicago canal to stop the fish from getting into Lake Michigan, but a new study shows it's not 100-percent effective. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Annie Macdowell reports, scientists are working on a second line of defense...bubbles.

BATTLE PLANS FOR ASIAN CARP (8/19/02)

Asian carp are the new poster fish in the campaign against invasive species. For years, foreign invaders like the zebra mussel, the round goby, and now the carp have been threatening the ecosystem of the Great Lakes. Like their fellow species of concern, the carp have no natural predators to keep their numbers in check. Ecologists report that they are now closing in on Lake Michigan from the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. This has authorities in the U.S. and Canada stepping up efforts to control them. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Diantha Parker reports.

ASIAN TRADITIONS MAY SPREAD INVASIVE CARP (7/15/02)

Biologists say the invasive Asian carp is knocking on the door of the Great Lakes as populations of the imported fish make their way up the Mississippi River system. And while officials are seeking funding to construct and maintain an electric barrier to keep the fish out, the Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Mark Brush reports that the fish has another way of getting into the lakes.

BLACK CARP INTRODUCTION GETS HOOKED (1/24/00)

States in the Mississippi river basin are protesting a decision by the state of Mississippi to allow a foreign fish to be introduced to control a pest. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lester Graham reports... the other states are concerned the fish will escape into the wild and damage the environment.

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