Keep Maumee carp-free

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Keep Maumee carp-free

Toledo Blade – A new study brings the Asian carp threat even closer to the Toledo area. The U.S. Geological Survey report identifies the Sandusky, the Grand, and especially the Maumee rivers as ideal spawning habitats for the voracious fish.

The Maumee is already the Great Lakes region’s best tributary for spawning walleye and other major fish species. But the new report is the first to examine the success Asian carp could have in sustaining their numbers if they ever get enough of a foothold here to reproduce en masse.

The conclusion: Once Asian carp take over the region’s best tributaries, it will be hard to get those streams back.

The State of Illinois, with the help of the Obama Administration, has resisted meaningful efforts to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes and protect the region’s $7 billion fishery. Scientists say the most effective, if costly, solution is a complete separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.

Ohio, Michigan, and other states have taken that debate to the U.S. Supreme Court, to no avail. The new report should bolster those efforts.

Legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) and cosponsored by other senators in the Great Lakes delegation, including Democrats Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Carl Levin of Michigan, aims to light a fire under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Both agencies have dragged their feet in dealing with the carp threat.

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