A difficult battle has been emerging since the Asian carp invaded the Mississippi River in the seventies. This invasive species, becoming more prevalent with international trade, are a growing concern in the Great Lakes because of the amount they can consume. As consumers of plankton, they pose as an indirect threat to larger fish higher up on the food chain. If their presence in the Great Lakes increases, “they could utterly disrupt the existing ecosystem” and ruin any source of fish the Great Lakes has to offer (Walsh 2). They also endanger boaters because they hurl into the air when startled. The movie we watched in class showed a contest of this event where boaters rode through the river with nets trying to catch the most Asian carp, but this would be less of a game when the unsuspecting travelers are smacked in the face with a forty-pound fish.
Controlling the carp can also a very difficult task, depending on the area they invade. In order to reproduce they need a long river, so as long we deny them access to those they could potentially die out on their own. An electric barrier was installed into the Sanitary and Ship Canal to prevent fish from entering the Great Lakes, but they are unsure if some are getting through. Once they infiltrate the Great Lakes they have no North American predators, like they do in their native water, so their population can multiply rapidly. In order to prevent this issue from becoming a significant danger, governments are fighting to enforce solutions. Michigan and Wisconsin governors are fighting for the locks in the canal in Chicago to be shut down and the White House are implementing plans for more barriers. People can also prevent the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes by not moving live fish and only using wild-caught baitfish in the same waters that it came from. If we try to control the problem now, hopefully we can stop it before it spreads into an ecological disaster.