WBEZ | asian carp http://www.wbez.org/tags/asian-carp Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Asian carp discovery concerns some, excites others http://www.wbez.org/news/asian-carp-discovery-concerns-some-excites-others-108727 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Asian carp 1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Despite the pouring rain Thursday, Phillip Ashley didn&rsquo;t let that stop him from fishing at Flatfoot Lake at the Beaubien Woods Forest Persevere on Chicago&rsquo;s far South Side.</p><p>He was there in the morning with a bunch of friends.</p><p>&ldquo;We love coming out here,&rdquo; Ashley said.</p><p>With a large yacht floating by, Flatfoot Lake almost looks like the Ohio River as it winds through a large landfill off the Bishop Ford Expressway. You&rsquo;d never know it from its placid surface, but Flatfoot Lake is the latest battleground in the fight against the dreaded Asian carp.</p><p>At a conference last week in Milwaukee, the top federal official in charge of keeping the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes said an 82 pound, 53-inch Asian carp was caught in Flatfoot Lake in August.</p><p>Flatfoot Lake is located less than 10 miles away from Lake Michigan. While the proximity may worry environmentalists, it had Ashley excited at the thought of catching something so large.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m looking for his brother,&rdquo; Ashley told WBEZ.</p><p>Ashley says he caught an Asian carp once before in another nearby lake. He says there&rsquo;s really nothing that can be done.</p><p>&ldquo;If they&rsquo;re here, they&rsquo;re here. We just have to deal with them. There&rsquo;s no way to get rid of them, you have to fish them out. That&rsquo;s why we&rsquo;re here today,&rdquo; Ashley said.</p><p>The Asian carp is an invasive species with a healthy appetite, so scientists worry if they ever enter Lake Michigan, they could starve off native fish. That could endanger the lucrative commercial fishing trade.</p><p>Flatfoot Lake isn&rsquo;t the only body of water where the Asian carp has been found recently. One was caught just this past July in the Humboldt Park Lagoon on the city&rsquo;s West Side. While there is growing concern because of the proximity of these lakes and ponds, at least one top Illinois official says the issue is being overblown.</p><p>&ldquo;There is no threat to Lake Michigan,&rdquo; says Kevin Irons, Aquaculture and Aquatic Nuisance Manager for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, who spends much of his time trying to keep track and eradicate the Asian carp from Illinois bodies of water.</p><p>He says because Flatfoot Lake is landlocked, there&rsquo;s no way Asian carp can get into Lake Michigan.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s many ponds like this in Chicago that does not have a physical connection with Lake Michigan nor the canals around Chicago,&rdquo; Irons said. &ldquo;Again, there is no threat to Lake Michigan.&rdquo;</p><p>Irons says Asian carp was probably put in the smaller lakes by people who didn&rsquo;t know of the threat they could pose to Lake Michigan. Sometimes people mistake Asian carp for catfish. He says other invasive species, like piranhas, have also been found in smaller Chicago lakes and ponds.</p><p>But lawmakers are still worried about the discovery.</p><p>&ldquo;If Asian carp are not stopped before they enter the Great Lakes, they could destroy the ecosystem, as well as the boating and fishing industries, and hundreds of thousands of jobs,&quot; said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, at last week&rsquo;s conference in Milwaukee.</p><p>Bighead and silver carp were imported from Asia to the southern U.S. in the 1970s to control algae in fish ponds and sewage lagoons. They escaped and have infested most of the Mississippi River and many of its tributaries, including the Illinois and Wabash rivers, which could provide linkages to Lake Michigan and Lake Erie.</p><p>Scientists say if the voracious carp become established in the lakes and spread widely, they could out-compete other fish for plankton &mdash; the base of aquatic food chains.</p><p>Stabenow sponsored legislation enacted last year that ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete a study on a permanent solution by early 2014. They say the best measure is to physically separate the Great Lakes and Mississippi River drainage basins, which Chicago business interests oppose, saying it could disrupt shipping and tour boat traffic.</p><p>The corps report will include a list of options, including physical separation, and a price tag for each. Flatfoot Lake is also very close to the Indiana border. Officials in Indiana reported Thursday that the Asian carp has an ability to adapt to its surroundings.</p><p>Purdue University assistant professor Reuben Goforth said that the gills are changing on some species of Asian carp in the Wabash River. That makes them stronger and a greater threat to the river&#39;s native species.</p><p>He says students collecting data on Asian carp eggs found 300,000 eggs in three minutes in June. The most they had found previously was 1,000 in five minutes.</p><p><em>The Associated Press contributed to this report.</em></p><p><em>Follow WBEZ NWI bureau reporter Michael Puente on Twitter @<a href="http://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews" target="_blank">MikePuenteNews</a> and on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/WBEZ-Northwest-Indiana-Bureau/701257506570573" target="_blank"><span style="color:#800080;">Facebook</span></a><span style="color:#800080;"><u>/WBEZ Northwest Indiana Bureau</u></span></em></p></p> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 17:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/asian-carp-discovery-concerns-some-excites-others-108727 Feds update plan to protect Great Lakes from carp http://www.wbez.org/news/feds-update-plan-protect-great-lakes-carp-108163 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP181239591861.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. &mdash; A federal plan for keeping hungry Asian carp from reaching the valuable fish populations of the Great Lakes calls for reinforcing electrical and other barriers currently in place and for field-testing other methods, including the use of water guns and hormonal fish love potions.</p><p>The Obama administration made improving its network of barriers a primary focus of an updated blueprint for keeping bighead and silver carp from reaching the five inland seas, even as they continue infesting the Mississippi River and many of its tributaries. The Associated Press obtained an outline of the government&#39;s $50 million plan ahead of its official release later Wednesday.</p><p>&quot;This strategy continues our aggressive effort to bolster our tools to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes while we work toward a long-term solution,&quot; said John Goss of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, who oversees the anti-carp initiative. &quot;The 2013 framework will strengthen our defenses against Asian carp and move innovative carp control projects from research to field trials to implementation.&quot;</p><p>The much-maligned carp were imported decades ago to clear algae from fish farms and sewage lagoons in the Deep South. They escaped during floods and have migrated northward, gobbling huge amounts of plankton &mdash; tiny plants and animals that virtually all fish eat at some point. Scientists differ about how widely they would spread in the Great Lakes, but under worst-case scenarios they would occupy large areas and severely disrupt the $7 billion fishing industry.</p><p>With this year&#39;s spending, the administration will have devoted $200 million over four years to keep the Great Lakes carp-free. But many state officials and advocacy groups contend that the only sure way to prevent invasive species from migrating between the lakes and the Mississippi system is to build dams or other structures near Chicago, where a man-made canal links the two giant watersheds by forming a pathway between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River.</p><p>Under pressure from Congress, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has promised to release by year&#39;s end a short list of options for slamming the door, although such a project could require many years and billions of dollars.</p><p>In the meantime, federal officials say an electric fish barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal 37 miles southwest of the city is keeping the carp at bay. Critics note that dozens of water samples taken beyond the barrier have tested positive for Asian carp DNA, although just one live carp has been found there.</p><p>The barrier consists of three metal bars at the bottom of the canal that emit electric pulses to repel fish or jolt those that refuse to turn back.</p><p>Under the administration&#39;s plan, a new section would be added this year to replace a demonstration model installed a decade ago. Two segments at a time will operate, with the third on standby.</p><p>To supplement the stationary barrier, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will oversee design and construction of a mobile electric device that can be dragged behind a boat like a curtain. It could be used in Chicago rivers and canals or elsewhere to herd fish away from places where they don&#39;t belong.</p><p>The plan also calls for rebuilding a ditch berm to support a chain-link fence in a marshy area near Fort Wayne, Ind., that has been identified as a potential link between the carp-infested Wabash River and the Maumee River, which flows into Lake Erie. Studies suggest that Erie could be particularly vulnerable to a carp invasion because its shallow, warm waters are hospitable to fish.</p><p>Other barriers are planned for the Ohio Erie Canal and Little Killbuck Creek in Medina County, Ohio, which have been identified as potential crossover points for invaders.</p><p>Additionally, federal agencies will continue developing and testing other methods of catching, killing and controlling the unwanted fish. Methods on the drawing board range from toxins that target Asian carp to water guns and specially designed nets. Scientists also are developing ways to use pheromones &mdash; chemicals secreted by fish to attract mates &mdash; to lure Asian carp to where they could be netted or killed.</p><p>Teams also will expand water sampling areas in southern Lake Michigan, western Lake Erie and other likely invasion spots. Other experts are scheduled to complete a study of whether positive DNA hits mean live Asian carp were actually present.</p><p>&quot;Much progress has been made in the development and refinement of Asian carp detection and control tools and in the understanding of the food and habitat required for Asian carp reproduction and survival,&quot; said Leon Carl, Midwest Region Director of the U.S. Geological Survey. The goal now is to &quot;get these new technologies and information into the hands of managers and other decision makers,&quot; he said.</p></p> Wed, 24 Jul 2013 08:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/feds-update-plan-protect-great-lakes-carp-108163 Gov. Pat Quinn open to Great Lakes, Mississippi basin separation http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-06/gov-pat-quinn-open-great-lakes-mississippi-basin-separation-107523 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Conceptual-rendering-of-a-physical-barrier-%28HDR%2C-Inc.%29.jpg" title="A conceptual rendering of a physical barrier and cargo transport station. Though initially costly, such a system would prevent economic turmoil from invasive species and create other benefits, proponents say. (HDR, Inc.)" /></div><p>In <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/asian-carp-might-have-entered-lakes-so-what-106613" target="_blank">the perennial battle to keep Asian carp and other riverborne invaders out of the Great Lakes</a>, one intervention is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-12/un-reversing-chicago-river-88976" target="_blank">often proposed as the only long-term solution</a>: separate the Mississippi River and Great Lakes watersheds.</p><p>Or, put another way: <a href="http://www.glc.org/caws/reportimages/CAWS-historicflowca1900-800pxw.jpg" target="_blank">restore the divide</a> that existed until <a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-12/postcard-historical-glimpse-reversal-chicago-river-89000" target="_blank">engineers reversed the flow of the Chicago River during the 19th century</a>, a feat that earned Chicago its can-do reputation and paved the way for the city&rsquo;s explosive growth.</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn <a href="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GREAT_LAKES_GOVERNORS?SITE=AP&amp;SECTION=HOME&amp;TEMPLATE=DEFAULT" target="_blank">took the appreciable and unexpected step of endorsing, to some extent, the &quot;ultimate solution&quot;</a> of basin separation during a conference of the Council of Great Lakes Governors last week. It&rsquo;s a controversial position, as creating a system of physical barriers in the Chicago Area Waterway System would cost billions of dollars.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CAWS-allbarriers-750pxw.jpg" style="height: 490px; width: 610px;" title="Possible points of intervention. The study group that produced this map determined the Mid-System alternative provides the best bang for the buck — $4.27 billion bucks, to be exact. (Great Lakes Commission)" /></div><p>Critics say physical separation would cost communities along the industrial corridor that surrounds the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Blocking shipping lanes, for example, would disrupt barge traffic. Although it is a fraction of what it once was, shipping on the canal would need to change significantly, perhaps transferring cargo to freight trains.</p><p>And some worry even a physical barrier would do little to interrupt the most important vector of invasive species: human transport. <a href="http://www.annualreviews.org/eprint/RVivFUwWAidsIA7P6zAV/full/10.1146/annurev-marine-120710-100952" target="_blank">A recent survey of Great Lakes invaders since 1936</a> found only two species, the alewife and sea lamprey, made their way into the Great Lakes by swimming. The vast majority were &ldquo;unintentionally transported or released.&rdquo;</p><p>But others argue separation will generate significant benefits beyond stopping the spread of Asian carp. Waste from Chicago winds its way down the Mississippi, ending up in the Gulf of Mexico. Barrier locations could also house water treatment equipment, and returning some of that flow to Lake Michigan might even slightly <a href="http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/a-dutch-approach-to-flood-and-drought-management-takes-root-in-st.-louis?fb_action_ids=10101031603390335&amp;fb_action_types=og.likes&amp;fb_source=aggregation&amp;fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582" target="_blank">ease flooding downstream</a>.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.studiogang.net/publication/2011/reverse_effect" target="_blank">Reverse Effect</a></em>, a project by Chicago architects Studio Gang, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard University&rsquo;s Graduate School of Design, investigated how a barrier in the Chicago River&rsquo;s south branch could &ldquo;connect and recharge surrounding neighborhoods&rdquo; both culturally and economically.</p><p>Quinn and several governors <a href="http://greatlakesecho.org/2013/06/03/can-snyder-and-quinn-revive-dormant-great-lakes-governors/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+greatlakesecho%2Fall+%28Great+Lakes+Echo+%28All%29%29" target="_blank">met in Mackinac Island, Mich. to discuss a range of Great Lakes economic and environmental issues</a> &mdash; the first time so many Great Lakes governors convened around the topic in eight years. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence maintained his state&rsquo;s opposition to separating the basins, citing economic concerns.</p><p>With Asian carp <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/asian-carp-might-have-entered-lakes-so-what-106613" target="_blank">on Lake Michigan&#39;s doorstep already</a>, many ecologists say now is the time to act. Next year the Army Corps of Engineers will make a recommendation on Asian carp, and separating the Great Lakes from the Mississippi will be among the options. Quinn&rsquo;s unexpected remarks Saturday encouraged those in favor of separation, but belied a divided group of Great Lakes governors.</p><p><em>Chris Bentley writes about the environment. Follow him on Twitter at <a href="http://www.twitter.com/Cementley" target="_blank">@Cementley</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 04 Jun 2013 12:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-06/gov-pat-quinn-open-great-lakes-mississippi-basin-separation-107523 Asian carp might have entered lakes, but so what? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/asian-carp-might-have-entered-lakes-so-what-106613 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/43254442@N05/4797302102/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/silver%20carp%20by%20michigan%20sea%20grant.jpg" style="height: 458px; width: 610px;" title="Silver carp, one of the several species collectively referred to as Asian carp. (Michigan Sea Grant/Dan O'Keefe)" /></a></div><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/new-study-finds-asian-carp-dna-chicago-waterways-106520">New evidence suggesting Asian carp may already be in the Great Lakes basin</a> has renewed fears that the invasive species could pose an existential threat to the area&rsquo;s lucrative fishing industry.</p><p>&ldquo;The fact that fish may already be in the lake does not mean it&rsquo;s game over,&rdquo; said Lindsay Chadderton, aquatic invasive species director for The Nature Conservancy. &ldquo;The real risk is that if we continue to debate and don&rsquo;t act, we may lose that opportunity.&rdquo;</p><p>But the charismatic fish, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb8OmEr7VqI">infamous for their tendency to leap out of the water</a> (though they&#39;re unlikely to do so in the deep waters of Lake Michigan), are no shoe-in when it comes to colonizing the Great Lakes.</p><p>&ldquo;In my view, the Mississippi River basin is the least of Lake Michigan&#39;s worries, because the habitat is so warm, rich and shallow that its denizens would be completely unfit in cold, dilute, deep Lake Michigan,&rdquo; said Russell Cuhel, a senior scientist with the <a href="http://www4.uwm.edu/freshwater/">Great Lakes WATER Institute</a>. To reproduce, carp need access to rivers where there is an amply flowing water column to help disperse their eggs. That isn&rsquo;t common in most of the Great Lakes, but some places, including Lake Erie and the Detroit River, could provide the right conditions.</p><p>The sea lamprey, another invasive species that decimated the Lake Trout population, shares an Achilles heel with Asian carp. Like the carp, lamprey head upstream to breed. To control their spread, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission applies specialized poisons that kill young lampreys in streambeds before they reach open water and mature. It&rsquo;s possible that if carp do establish themselves in the Great Lakes, a similar strategy could control their population. But it&rsquo;s no sure bet.</p><p>&ldquo;Invasive species never do what we expect them to do,&rdquo; Chadderton said. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re opportunistic. That&rsquo;s why they&rsquo;re good invaders.&rdquo;</p><p>At any rate the jury is still out on whether carp could flourish in the unfamiliar Great Lakes ecosystem. Unlike carp, the wildly successful quagga and zebra mussels, which first <a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-11/battle-over-ballast-waters-88934">arrived as stowaways in ship ballast tanks</a>, breed where they live and are capable of producing 1 million eggs per year. In many areas of the Great Lakes they now blanket the lake floor, and have become by far the most dominant species by biomass in Lake Michigan.</p><p>Those mussels have devoured much of the available phytoplankton &mdash; the same food source carp depend on &mdash; posing another challenge for the new invader. Research suggests that carp might be able to survive on other food sources, however, including mussel feces. And even minor competition from the voracious carp, which can eat up to one fifth of their body weight in plankton each day, could place further pressure on young walleye and other sport fish that also eat plankton in their larval stage.</p><p>While the lamprey and the equally disruptive alewife entered the Lakes on their own volition, they are the exception to the rule. <a href="http://www.annualreviews.org/eprint/RVivFUwWAidsIA7P6zAV/full/10.1146/annurev-marine-120710-100952">Recent research published by Cuhel and Carmen Aguilar in the <em>Annual Review of Marine Science</em></a> found few of the <a href="http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/suppl/10.1146/annurev-marine-120710-100952/suppl_file/ma.05.cuhel.supmat.pdf">many invaders since 1936</a> established themselves by swimming into the Lakes. Most were unintentionally transported or released.</p><p>&ldquo;It only takes one idiot to infect a location with an exotic [species],&rdquo; Cuhel said. &ldquo;One fisherman with a bait bucket can be worse than river flow.&rdquo;</p><p>Cuhel won&rsquo;t weigh in on policy or engineering proposals to physically separate the Great Lakes and Mississippi basins, or treat locks with chemicals that could clear out carp and other invasive species before they enter Lake Michigan. But others have called <a href="http://www.wbez.org/content/electric-barrier-last-line-against-invasive-species">expensive efforts to keep out invaders</a> a foolhardy investment.</p><p>There are dozens of species in the Great Lakes basin that don&rsquo;t currently exist in the Mississippi, and nearly a dozen more vice versa. Aquatic invasive species protections could defend those populations from cross-contamination. What&rsquo;s more, environmental agencies already spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year managing algal blooms, sea lamprey and mussels. That makes an economic argument for prevention measures, Chadderton said, even if the carp don&rsquo;t turn out to be good colonizers of most Great Lakes waters.</p><p>&ldquo;The trouble with any invasion is that there will always be evidence on both sides. So do you let the experiment run?&rdquo; Chadderton said. &ldquo;The most prudent management option is to prevent establishment.&rdquo;</p></p> Thu, 11 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/asian-carp-might-have-entered-lakes-so-what-106613 New study finds Asian carp DNA in Chicago waterways http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/new-study-finds-asian-carp-dna-chicago-waterways-106520 <p><p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/farmdog/6257877889/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/asian%20carp%20by%20jeremy%20m%20farmer.jpg" style="height: 407px; width: 610px;" title="(Jeremy Farmer via Flickr)" /></a></p><p>The advance of the so-called <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/asian-carp">Asian carp</a> (the term can refer to many species of carp, but in Illinois it typically refers to bighead carp and silver carp) has long prompted <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/ecomyths-asian-carps-destructive-impact-ecosystem-101816">worries that the fish will wreck the Great Lakes ecosystem</a>, including its $7 billion fishery. Its impending arrival has even energized debate over whether to spend billions physically separating Chicago waterways from Lake Michigan.</p><p>The carp&rsquo;s march up the Mississippi River basin <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/scientists-find-asian-carp-lake-calumet">even surmounted electric barriers</a> set up by the Army Corps of Engineers to keep them out of the Great Lakes area. A&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/cjfas-2012-0478">new study in the <em>Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences</em></a> affirms that if the fish haven&rsquo;t reached the Great Lakes yet, they&rsquo;re very close.</p><p>In 2010 fisherman hauled a 20-pound bighead carp out of Lake Calumet, and before that carp were found in the western basin of Lake Erie &mdash; the same locations where the researchers found carp environmental DNA, or eDNA. Fish shed tiny bits of tissue as they swim, which become diffuse genetic evidence of their presence. The eDNA can&rsquo;t say how many fish are in the area, or when they were there.</p><p>Scientists had already found carp eDNA in Lake Michigan, but chalked it up to contact with contaminated fishing gear or bird feces. The new report has raised eyebrows because, as the authors put it, &ldquo;we remain convinced that the most likely source of Asian carp DNA is live fish.&rdquo;</p><p>eDNA monitoring of invasive species is a relatively new technology. It <a href="http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/201454551.html?refer=y">can produce murky results</a>, as in Minnesota where it may have misidentified carp DNA in the St. Croix river.</p><p>The new study was authored by researchers at the University of Notre Dame, the Nature Conservancy and Central Michigan University, and calls for a larger surveillance program across the Great Lakes basin.</p><p>Carp are abundant below the electric barriers near Chicago, can eat up to 20 percent of their body weight per day in plankton &mdash; a food source already under considerable pressure from <a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-11/battle-over-ballast-waters-88934">invasive quagga and zebra mussels</a> &mdash;&nbsp;and are known for leaping out of the water when agitated. But the carp remain elusive where their eDNA has been found, despite all the scrutiny from anxious fishermen and ecologists. Still, the latest findings are likely to reignite debate about whether the current defenses are enough.</p><p>The Army Corps of Engineers is studying the issue, and will release a report later this year.</p><p><em>Chris Bentley writes about the environment. Follow him on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/Cementley" target="_blank">@Cementley</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 16:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/new-study-finds-asian-carp-dna-chicago-waterways-106520 EcoMyths: Asian carp's destructive impact on the ecosystem http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/ecomyths-asian-carps-destructive-impact-ecosystem-101816 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Asian Carp Electricuted.jpg" style="height: 421px; width: 620px;" title="Asian Carp, jolted by an electric current from a research boat, jumping from the Illinois River near Havana, Ill. Scientists on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers use electric currents to stun fish so they can be scooped up and examined. (AP Photo/John Flesher)" /></div></div><p><strong><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F82946117&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false"></iframe>Ecosystems are like People</strong></p><p>When my life is in balance, I just know it. There&rsquo;s no formula. What mix creates my personal balance changes over time and likely is not the same as how you find balance. Hopefully, if elements of my life become too demanding, I can adjust and put things back in order. Ecosystems are like that. They&rsquo;re dynamic, like our own lives. Sometimes deer populations may eat more this year than last &mdash; or several young trees die because of drought. But somehow the ecosystem mends itself.&nbsp; It evolves with new plants and animals and finds new balance. The cardinals, the foxes and frogs make their way back to the garden.&nbsp;</p><p>But sometimes, balance is improbable because of a great shock to the system.&nbsp; Something essential is added, taken away or both: A prairie becomes an office building drastically changing the landscape; plants that fed deer and provided nesting places for birds vanish.&nbsp; A quote from the World Wildlife Fund website defines ecological balance as &ldquo;a state of dynamic equilibrium&hellip;subject to gradual changes through natural succession.&quot; But sometimes, non-gradual change forces things to a tipping point and the ecosystem cannot adapt.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Lake Michigan Ecosystem: Asian Carp Threaten the Balance</strong></p><p>For our monthly <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths">EcoMyths</a> segment, Jerome McDonnell wanted to know if the hype surrounding the threat of Asian carp to the Great Lakes ecosystem is warranted.&nbsp; The answer was a resounding &ldquo;yes!&rdquo; Fortunately, our experts, Kim Rice of <a href="http://www.chicagoriver.org/">Friends of the Chicago River</a>; and Jared Teutsch of the <a href="http://www.greatlakes.org/">Alliance for the Great Lakes</a>, have worked hard to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Chicago River and entering Lake Michigan.</p><p>The reason: the aquatic food chain in Lake Michigan is already so weakened by other invasive species, like zebra mussel, that adding a voracious plankton feeder such as Asian carp to the mix will likely push it over the tipping point. Meaning? Most fish other than the Asian carp will die. The carp will eat the fish at the bottom of the food chain, leaving very little for other fish to eat.&nbsp; Also, Asian carp reproduce quickly and are exceptionally fast swimmers. In the Great Lakes ecosystem, Asian carp will be the fittest, fastest, and fattest, but they&rsquo;ll also be lonely because few other fish will survive once the carp move in.</p><p>Teutsch, says &ldquo;It is a myth that we have dealt with other invasive species in Lake Michigan successfully.&quot; Because of the loss of plankton, whose population has been decimated by zebra mussels, the &ldquo;Lake Michigan ecosystem is at a tipping point already&rdquo;.&nbsp; Could we bring in a larger predator to eat the Asian carp?&nbsp; If only. Unfortunately, the carp swim too fast and have the advantages I mentioned above. So a big predator fish would more likely eat the slow, easy-to-catch smaller fish rather than the carp. If the Asian carp gets into Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lakes, it would likely devastate the $7 billion fishery industry.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Carp caught_0.jpg" style="float: right;" title="Asian Carp. (Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)" />Fortunately, experts have no evidence of carp in Lake Michigan yet. But the Chicago River, upstream of where the carp are seen further south in the Illinois River, is the most likely gateway to the Great Lakes. Several state and federal agencies, municipalities, and other groups, under the umbrella of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, are doing what they can to prevent the carp from migrating north to Chicago. These measures include installing an electric barrier between the two rivers. Rice indicates that the most effective solution currently advocated by several agencies, is to completely separate the Chicago River from the Illinois River. &ldquo;This would not only keep the carp from coming upstream and ruining the Chicago River&rsquo;s ecosystem, it will enable commercial development and recreational uses to continue to improve on the river.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Happy Ending?</strong></p><p>So will separation happen?&nbsp; As with most projects of this scale, the decision is under consideration and will take time.&nbsp; But let&rsquo;s hope that it will happen soon. According to a recent report by the Great Lakes Commission, Asian carp have been spotted as close as 5 miles away from Lake Michigan.</p><p>You can get involved by tracking the &quot;<a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:h.r.6348:">Asian Carp Prevention Act of 2012</a>&quot; (H.R. 6348). Along with Friends of the Chicago River and Alliance for the Great Lakes, Teutsch recommends joining local groups like <a href="http://healthywatersolutions.org/">Healthy Water Solutions</a>. Learn more about Asian Carp at <a href="http://ecomythsalliance.org/">EcoMyths Alliance</a>.</p></p> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 08:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/ecomyths-asian-carps-destructive-impact-ecosystem-101816 A taste of Taste dispels the love-hate http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-07/taste-taste-dispels-love-hate-100835 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tastewelcomesign.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="Welcome to the Taste of Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p style="text-align: left; "><span style="text-align: left; ">After all the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/eight-forty-eight-071112-100784">talk</a> about this year&#39;s <a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/supporting_narrative/events___special_events/special_events/mose/taste_of_chicago.html/">Taste of Chicago</a>&nbsp;</span>&mdash;&nbsp;much of it on the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/shorter-slimmer-taste-chicago-kicks-week-100698">turkey legs</a> that wouldn&#39;t be there and the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/asian-carp-samples-available-taste-chicago-100791">Asian carp sliders</a> that would be free&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;&nbsp;I hopped on the bus from Navy Pier to check out opening day for myself.</p><p style="text-align: left; ">I did indeed taste the slider. You should know by now that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-09-15/finding-beauty-beast-asian-carp-92026">I love the fish and hate that it&#39;s called an invasive species</a>. This thick, hardwood-grilled patty &mdash; made with fresh garlic, lemon zest, oregano and nutmeg, bound lightly with olive oil and panko and crowned with a tomato jalapeño chutney&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;was a lovely, summery bite. The firm-fleshed fish flashed flavors from the Mediterranean and the Caribbean Seas.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tastecarpslider.jpg" style="width: 600px; " title="Asian carp slider with tomato jalapeño chutney by Dirk's Fish (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Dirk and Terry Fucik, the husband and wife team behind&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dirksfish.com/">Dirk&#39;s Fish and Gourmet Shop</a>, created the sliders at the request of the <a href="http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Pages/TargetHungerNow.aspx">Illinois Department of Natural Resources&#39;s Target Hunger Now!</a> program. According to IDNR, &quot;Target Hunger Now! is one of the largest humanitarian efforts undertaken by the State of Illinois.&quot; The state and its corporate partners hope &quot;to encourage hunters and anglers to donate deer and Asian carp for processing into healthy, ready-to-serve meals.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">The Fuciks served all of the 750 sliders they made for opening day by early afternoon. People waited in a line half a block long to get one, and the general consensus was that they were good &nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;surprisingly good&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;which was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicagoans-take-bite-out-asian-carp-100820">the point</a>; though research now suggests this &quot;Asian invasion&quot;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/research-murky-danger-asian-carp-invasion-100833">may not be</a> dangerous after all.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">If you missed this batch of sliders, Dirk&#39;s grills up free samples every Saturday. The restaurant also sells Asian carp burger patties for $8 per pound.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tasteterrydirk.jpg" style="width: 600px; " title="Terry and Dirk Fucik grill Asian carp sliders (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Another new, must-see Taste feature was the Celebrity Chef du Jour booth, which kicked off with <a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/supporting_narrative/events___special_events/events/mose/taste_of_chicago_-14.html">Carlos Gaytan</a> of <a href="http://www.mexiquechicago.com/">Mexique</a>. His dinner was long sold out, but diners could buy his signature <em>jamaica</em> glazed pork belly on a celery root slaw (the dish was made and served by Washburne students, as WBEZ&#39;s own&nbsp;Niala Boodhoo <a href="http://www.wbez.org/washburne-culinary-students-pair-some-chicagos-top-chefs-100778">reported</a>). <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibiscus_tea">Jamaica</a> (pronounced HUH-my-kuh) are the blood red hibiscus <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calyx_(botany)">calices</a> used to make <em>agua fresca</em> that looks like punch.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tasteporkbelly.jpg" style="width: 600px; " title="Jamaica glazed pork belly by Carlos Gaytan (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">I didn&#39;t actually taste this one myself. This dish pictured above was ordered by George Nydza of Chicago, and his friend, Rita McGuire of Grayslake, Ill. They&#39;ve been friends for 30 years and have been coming to Taste since the beginning. &quot;I saw the chef making it on WGN this morning,&quot; said Nydza. &quot;I&#39;ve heard a lot about pork belly but never had it, so I thought this one has got to be good &mdash; and it&#39;s not that expensive.&quot; At ten tickets, Gaytan&#39;s huge pork belly portion came out to $6.67; at Mexique, a lunch-sized pork belly sandwich rings up at $12.95.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">I hear the complaints: that Taste is too hot and crowded, that the food&#39;s no good, that&nbsp;<a href="http://chicago.eater.com/archives/2012/07/12/poll-results.php#reader_comments">nobody goes anymore</a>. I&#39;ve made those complaints myself. But a walk-through on a relatively cool opening morning reminded me why other people still love it and have always loved it. It&#39;s big city life &mdash; or at least a taste.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tastedinerspork.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="Rita McGuire and George Nydza at Celebrity Chef du Jour booth (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 13 Jul 2012 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-07/taste-taste-dispels-love-hate-100835 State officials promote Asian carp as a solution for hungry families http://www.wbez.org/story/state-officials-promote-asian-carp-solution-hungry-families-91912 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-13/Asian Carp_Flickr_Kate Gardiner.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois officials hope they can make progress on two different problems by feeding Asian carp to hungry families.</p><p>The invasive species of fish has been added to the state's "Target Hunger Now!" program, which encourages hunters and fishermen to donate food to the needy. The state plans to promote Asian carp as a tasty food later this month with a cooking demonstration in Chicago.</p><p>The carp have been spreading across Illinois rivers and streams, killing off native species. Officials want to create demand so that commercial fishing will reduce the carp's numbers.</p><p>In March of 2010 the Chicago <em>Reader</em> <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/gyrobase/asian-carp-cooking-chicago-chefs/Content?oid=1571974&amp;storyPage=1">provided several well-regarded chefs with Asian carp</a> and asked them to try and prepare the fish. The results were mixed; Lockwood’s Phillip Foss described the carp as “about as good of a freshwater fish as I've found, period,” whereas Paul Kahan and team were “creeped out” after a few attempts at butchering and aborted their attempt. Most noted the difficulty of obtaining meat from the fish given its unusual bone structure.</p><p>The state Department of Natural Resources says Target Hunger Now! could process up to 40,000 pounds of fish a day.</p></p> Tue, 13 Sep 2011 15:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/state-officials-promote-asian-carp-solution-hungry-families-91912 Waterway operators press to keep locks, ports open despite Asian carp threat http://www.wbez.org/story/waterway-operators-press-keep-locks-ports-open-despite-asian-carp-threat-90301 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-09/Illinois Int&#039;l Port District_Flickr_Russ Amptmeyer.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>More than a dozen waterway operators met with the new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commander in Chicago to express concern the migration of Asian carp could force a closure of area locks.&nbsp; They say closing the locks could hurt the local economy and the industries that rely on the lakes for shipping and transport.</p><p>Other states around the Great Lakes have urged authorities to close the locks to ensure the carp can't get into Lake Michigan, which would devastate the region's fishing industry.</p><p>At Monday's gathering in Lemont, U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert told attendees the push by some to shut down the locks was a "misguided and scientifically flawed effort to stop the fish."</p><p>Biggert added that tests indicate electric barriers and other preventative measures are keeping Asian carp in Illinois from entering Lake Michigan.</p><p>The new Chicago commander of the Army corps of engineers is Col. Frederic Drummond Jr.</p></p> Tue, 09 Aug 2011 15:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/waterway-operators-press-keep-locks-ports-open-despite-asian-carp-threat-90301 Who owns the fish? How tribal rights could save the Great Lakes. http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-14/who-owns-fish-how-tribal-rights-could-save-great-lakes-89135 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/frontandcenter/photo/2011-07-14/89135/OrangePants.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>In Leelanau County in Northern Michigan, a small American Indian tribe has struggled for generations to survive economic and social hardships. The tribe has always been deeply connected to the lakes economically and culturally. The latest threat to that connection is environmental degradation, particularly invasive species.&nbsp; But the tribes are forming unexpected alliances with old enemies to fight the threat.</p><div id="PictoBrowser121120124048">Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer</div><script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser/swfobject.js"></script><script type="text/javascript"> var so = new SWFObject("http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser.swf", "PictoBrowser", "640", "540", "8", "#000000"); so.addVariable("source", "sets"); so.addVariable("names", "Who owns the fish?"); so.addVariable("userName", "shannonheffernan"); so.addVariable("userId", "30655293@N07"); so.addVariable("ids", "72157631912189822"); so.addVariable("titles", "off"); so.addVariable("displayNotes", "off"); so.addVariable("thumbAutoHide", "off"); so.addVariable("imageSize", "medium"); so.addVariable("vAlign", "mid"); so.addVariable("vertOffset", "0"); so.addVariable("colorHexVar", "000000"); so.addVariable("initialScale", "off"); so.addVariable("bgAlpha", "92"); so.write("PictoBrowser121120124048"); </script><p>When you first arrive in the Leelanau Peninsula, you think: this is heaven in the Midwest. Lake Michigan stretches out everywhere you look, blue as the Caribbean. It is a place full of second homes and tourists. But there is one spot that is different from the rest.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Arthur Duhamel Marina sound fade up</em></p><p>Peshawbestown is the reservation for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, a group that has lived in this area longer than anyone. It doesn&rsquo;t have any t-shirt shops or beach-front mansions. Instead, there are government offices, a casino, and a tribal marina. Ed John is a tribal fisherman who docks his boat here.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">JOHN: I can weld, and other things. But I enjoy fishing cause I am my own boss. I am not rich, but I don&rsquo;t want to be rich, it&rsquo;s working for me.</p><p>Tribes have always been dependent on the lakes. We asked Ed how invasive species have been threatening the tribes livelihood. &nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">JOHN: I was just telling my buddy, we got these reporters down here, asking about Invasive species. We know a thing or two about invasive species. First we had the Vikings and all these other countries taking, actually invading our space.</p><p>Ed&rsquo;s wife fishes, and so does her cousin, Bill.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">FOWLER: My name is Bill Fowler, I am a tribal commercial fisherman.</p><p>&nbsp;His nickname is bear</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">FOWLER: because I&rsquo;m as big as a bear and I work like a bear</p><p>(Fade up engine)</p><p>Bill fishes with Jason Sams who helps haul in the nets. Also along for the ride is &nbsp;Bill&rsquo;s dauschund puppy, Beauford.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">SAMS: He eats the face of the fishes. Faces ain&rsquo;t worth any money anyway. He&rsquo;s excited &lsquo;Cause he knows there will be fish soon.</p><p>It takes about an hour to reach the first fishing net.</p><p>FOWLER: Here fishy, fishy, come here fishies.</p><p>Lake Trout flop around on the dock, bleeding from the gills.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;"><em>Fish flopping</em></p><p>Ice keeps them fresh till they get to shore, where Bill sells his catch under the name 1836 fishing company, in honor of the treaty of 1836.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">FOWLER: I named it that because the treaty is important to us to reserve our rights.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-14/Ceded_TerritoriesGLIFWC.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 391px; margin-left: 3px; margin-right: 3px;" title="(photo courtesy of Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission)" /></p><p>You see, back in 1836 the tribes gave away a huge chunk of land &ndash; 1/3 of the state of Michigan. In return they kept the right to hunt and fish.&nbsp; But much later, in the 1960s, the state of Michigan started heavily regulating commercial fishermen, including tribes, limiting where and how they fished.</p><p>John Bailey was a tribal leader at the time and says the regulations hurt the tribes.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">BAILEY: Economically it would destroy us. And it would destroy us as Indian people because it&rsquo;s something that has been passed down generation to generation.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Inspired by the Civil Rights movement in the south, tribes began using non-violent civil disobedience to protest the regulations. They ignored state fishing restrictions and said to the authorities, come arrest me.</p><p>According to John Bailey, a lot of whites didn&rsquo;t react well.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">BAILEY: One of the groups actually took pictures of Indian fisherman and flooded the state with wanted posters: spear an Indian Save a Trout. We had guns pulled on us<strong>. </strong>We had women verbally and physically assaulted</p><p>White commercial and sports fisherman thought traditional nets used by the tribes would lead to overfishing, destroying the fishing economy.</p><p>The fight came to a head in 1979, when the tribes went to court. They pulled out that treaty from 1836, the one Fowler named his boat after. And because of that they won. The courts said: these tribes, they own a part of that lake and the water and the fish in it too. That&rsquo;s why tribal fisherman like Bill Fowler can still fish today.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">FOWLER: A lot of times people don&rsquo;t realize that treaty right exist, they think we are out on the plains living in teepees and we are here today and living in a modern way just like everybody else, but we still have our treaty rights.</p><p>That treaty could prove to play a deciding role in the current legal battle to protect the lakes against invasive species. And it&rsquo;s a factor uniting the same groups that were at odds over fishing rights in the seventies.&nbsp;</p><p>At the end of the day, Bill pulls his boat into the Fishtown marina and sells his fish to Carlsons Fish Shop, owned by a white family that has been in the fishing business for 6 generations.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">S<em>ounds of Bill handing off the fish</em></p><p>Bill hands over boxes of full of fish that the Carlson&rsquo;s will smoke and sell in their shop. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>This is a remarkable scene. Only thirty years ago the Carlson&rsquo;s were on the opposite side of the fight from the tribes. And now here they are, rolling away all of Bill&rsquo;s fish to sell to tourists.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;"><em>Cart sound</em></p><p>Cooperation like this between white and native fishermen, is common now. There are a lot of complicated reasons for that. &nbsp;But the one everyone told us over and over again is this: we have a common enemy, fighting environmental destruction. &nbsp;Jack Nolan is the former president of the Grand Traverse Area Sports fishermen.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">NOLAN: The hard feelings have passed and now we are working on what is needed today. The Asian Carp, all the other invasive species. We don&rsquo;t have time for bickering, we need to take care of our resource.</p><p>Protecting the lakes from the voracious Asian Carp is an urgent concern for more than just sports fisherman. Most Great Lakes states are involved in a Federal lawsuit. They are trying to get the Army Corps of engineers to shut down locks leading into the Great Lakes and stop the carp. But so far the suit&rsquo;s stalled in court and many scientists say carp will get in the lakes before all that&rsquo;s resolved.</p><p>But this is where there is a twist. The tribal rights that were solidified in the 1979 court case established that the tribes owned part of the lake, and others couldn&rsquo;t mess up their ability to fish in it. That might mean the tribes could do something no one else can do can do -- force the Army Corps to close the locks to keep out the Asian Carp.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">FLETCHER: It maybe that the treaty rights are the only thing that protects us, I don&rsquo;t know.</p><p>Matthew Fletcher is a law professor at Michigan Sate University. He says litigating on behalf of the environment, is really hard in our court system, because the environment doesn&rsquo;t have rights.</p><p>But treaties, like the one signed with the tribes, are considered &ldquo;the supreme law of the land.&rdquo;&nbsp; Matthew Fletcher, a member of the Ottawa and Chippewa band of Indians, says tribes may be willing to use those treaties on behalf of the lakes, because of what they have to loose.</p><p style="margin-left: 30pt;">FLETCHER: If the GL tanks and its all polluted or declined to the point where it&rsquo;s useless, Michigan will still be here. But there are 6 or 8 tribes that will disappear. So much of the culture, the tradition, and the economies, even the language is tied to what the lakes look like.&nbsp; If that goes away, the tribes have lost, in terms of basically being extinct.</p><p>The tribes will be presenting testimony in an upcoming injunction hearing, it&rsquo;s the latest development in the effort to get the locks closed immediately.</p><p>No one is sure how the treaty rights will shake out in court.&nbsp; But if they do hold up, it could open all kinds of doors for using tribal rights to fight environmental battles, from privatization of water, to nuclear power plants on the shore. And tribes, once at odds with all of the other fishermen, may prove they have a trump card that could protect the lakes for everyone.</p></p> Thu, 14 Jul 2011 15:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-14/who-owns-fish-how-tribal-rights-could-save-great-lakes-89135