Fox Chicago News, “Some Seek Dead Zone to Keep Asian Carp Out of Lake”

Do what can be done to keep the Asian Carp out of the lake.

March 8, 2010

By Lilia Chacon
The Asian carp is as adaptable as it is ugly. It’s been able to thrive in water so degraded that other fish just give up.

Now some people want to keep the carp out of Lake Michigan by creating a stretch of river so bad even carp can’t live in it: a dead zone between the lake and the locks on the Sanitary and Ship Canal.

“We believe they can reduce oxygen so that fish can’t live and therefore can’t get to the lake,” said Jim Farrell with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, “and we’ll reintroduce the oxygen below Lockport.”

Environmental advocates argue that bad water is bad business.

So far efforts to stop the carp, including electric barriers, have been ineffective. The State of Michigan has filed suit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to close the locks. People who depend on the river, and the materials that move on it, are opposed.

“Simply put, it stops commerce and does not stop the carp,” said Farrell.

Fifty percent of the nation’s goods pass through the Chicago area, but only 1 percent do it by means of the waterways. Some people argue that stopping the Asian carp could be a boost for regional transportation planning.

They envision a regional hub that includes river traffic, trucks and trains.

Environmentalists argue that eventually the canals will have to be closed, because the only way to keep out invasive species is to separate the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River basin.

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