Rep. Maturen: Time is ticking to stop spread of Asian carp

Categories: Maturen News

State Rep. Dave Maturen today thanked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for releasing its long-awaited report on Asian carp and urged all parties involved to quickly implement a plan to prevent the highly invasive fish from entering the Great Lakes.

The Army Corps of Engineers study assessed the viability of establishing various control mechanisms at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Ill., to prevent the upstream transfer of aquatic nuisance species such as Asian carp from the Mississippi River Basin into the Great Lakes Basin.

“I’m pleased to see the results of the study have finally been released,” said Maturen, of Vicksburg. “Now it’s time for all of the federal agencies involved to work with their state partners and move as rapidly as possible to implement a plan to prevent the movement of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.”

The report, based on an $8 million study completed two years ago, lays out tentative measures that include placement of a new electric barrier and underwater speakers generating “complex noise” to deter Asian carp from traveling beyond the lock and dam at Brandon Road.

The second-term representative had recently penned a letter to President Donald Trump calling for the release of the report, which had been delayed since February. The letter was signed by 65 members of the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus, a nonpartisan group of lawmakers from eight states in the U.S. and two Canadian provinces that focuses on issues concerning the Great Lakes.

Maturen expressed concern for state and local economies, which rely heavily on the Great Lakes ecosystem.

“Asian carp pose a serious threat to the fishing and tourism industries,” Maturen said. “The longer we go without implementing additional barriers, the more likely our Great Lakes will be invaded.”