Canadians must pressure Americans on carp crisis

To the Expositor:

Scan all of the “products” to date from the Great Lakes Mississippi Interbasin Study and the only question remaining is: when are they going to start construction on hydrologic separation?

It is so totally American to believe that always taking care of business and solving problems in the short run is so much better than taking the long view, because it’s always cheaper and doesn’t hurt business, but it never takes into account the black swan that lives in all short term thinking especially when it comes to the natural world. Technological fixes are great—they’re cheap and they demonstrate how smart we are, but the Asian carp swimming in the Mississippi River basin are ancient now, and they are never going to stop trying to get in. Ever.

Since the Americans are not currently doing anything anywhere else in the Mississippi River watershed, these carp are continuing to spread to its farthest reaches upstream all the way to the edge of Great Lakes basin from New York, along the Chicago crest, all the way to Wisconsin.

Please let us not kid ourselves. The longer the Americans wait to hydrologically separate the two watersheds, the greater is the risk that those already in the Great Lakes will start finding mates and turn America’s Great Lakes into giant carp ponds the way they have them all over China. (Keep wondering, too, what is the American win-win in letting the Asian carp eventually turn the Great Lakes into giant fish farms for the oriental market?)

Since they eat and mate all of the time no matter the season, they will spread quickly in the Great Lakes like the jellyfish in the oceans and sweep up everything. If Canadians really want to try to do something to stop them, write the American politicians. Contact your American friends, and their newspapers and other media about just how important it is to you that these carp never set up breeding populations in the Great Lakes. Hydrologic separation.

Michael and Jackie Toombs

McGregor Bay/Cincinnati