Michigan DNR Not Happy With Illinois DNR Rebranding of Asian Carp
The Illinois DNR recently started a rebranding campaign with invasive Asian carp that poses a huge threat to the Great Lakes and the Michigan DNR says it's a mistake.
How Did Asian Carp Get Introduced to America?
Asian carp are an invasive fish that eats plankton and in no time flat can change an entire ecosystem. It is so important to keep them out of our Great Lakes.
It was wastewater plants that originally brought the fish over from Asia in the 70s to use for eating algae in aquaculture ponds versus using chemicals. Somehow the fish managed to make their way into the Mississippi River basin and those fish quickly multiplied and expanded north.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources have been working together to keep these invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.
There have been systems put in place in Illinois to stop the fish from making it to the Great Lakes. There is a big project in the works between Michigan, Illinois, the Federal Government along with the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create another barrier to keep these fish from getting into the Great Lakes but completion of that project is nearly 10 years away.
Michigan DNR Not Happy With Illinois DNR
Recently the Illinois DNR has done a rebranding campaign to make the Asian carp more desirable to eat and renamed them "Copi." Most people won't eat carp because we have all been taught they are bottom feeders and are not palatable. Copi is not a bottom feeder and people eat them all around the world.
According to WOOD, the Illinois DNR wants people to catch and eat them plus get restaurants to serve them. This is where the Michigan DNR differs in its way of thinking. The Michigan DNR agrees that the method is good for lowering the species numbers but the diversion of dollars away from keeping the fish out of the Great Lakes is much more important. Basically, rebranding costs money and sends the wrong message to the public.
Where Asian carp have gotten into an ecosystem they dominate it by 70% compared to the other species. The Great Lakes fishing industry is a billion-dollar industry that would collapse if these fish get into and destroy the ecosystem. This would also hurt sport fishing for the states that surround the Great Lakes and the dollars that come with it.
Michigan's DNR is not on board with the rebranding but will continue to work with the Illinois DNR on projects to keep these Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.