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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Invasion: Mega Carp Are Coming. So are killer shrimp.

Did anyone watch the SyFy Channel’s mega-hit, Mega Piranha?

(YouTube image)

Even if Great Lakes predatory invaders are too small to eat a helicopter, they are still a real threat. From PJ Media:

Bighead carp — a member of the Asian carp family that can fly through the air and grow as long as 60 inches and as heavy as 110 pounds, just two inches shorter and 15 pounds heavier than former child star Mary-Kate Olsen and her billionaire twin sister, Ashley — is just one of the invasive species worrying people who fish for fun or profit on the Great Lakes.
And there’s plenty of profit to be made on the Great Lakes if only from the $7 billion a year fishing industry.
But now a new critter has been added to the list of invasive species doing damage by natural resources officials in the states and Canadian provinces that surround lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.
It is much smaller but no less ugly, and it comes by its nickname because it is just as hungry.
The killer shrimp (scientists call it: dikerogammarus villosus) is an inch of pure hunger and fury that chews up and eats anything without a spine that is its own size.
Nick Popoff, the aquatic species and regulatory affairs manager for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, told PJ Media killer shrimp are aggressive little predators with sharp, serrated mouths that shred their prey and could completely alter the food chain in the Great Lakes.
. . .
As scary as the prospect of killer shrimp bottom feeding their way through the waters of the Great Lakes seems, it is the Asian carp that first rattled the invasive species alarm bells in nine states and two Canadian provinces.
Asian carp jump out of the water, seem to fly through the air, smashing hard into whatever or whomever is in their way, and they love to eat.
. . .
Photo: cleveland.com
. . .
Asian carp DNA was discovered in the Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan in 2013, and a live carp was caught in Flatfoot Lake near Chicago, located next to the Calumet River, which feeds directly into Lake Michigan.
A December 2013 joint Army Corps and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report showed that fish were moving through the electronic barrier in the Chicago Waterway meant to serve as Lake Michigan’s last line of defense against the carp.
In 2012, the electronic barriers temporarily malfunctioned, leaving the Great Lakes unprotected from infestation.
“Right now there are 180 invasive species and growing. Great Lakes fishing can’t afford another one,” Captain Denny Grinold of Fish “N” Grin Charter Service in Grand Haven explained. “If they go the way the sea lamprey did, they will destroy the fisheries.”
Canada is scared, too.
. . .
The Army Corps of Engineers has tried a variety of measures to beat the Asian carp from water cannon to electric fishing, but recommended in June the construction of permanent barriers that would cut off Lake Michigan from Chicago’s waterways, which seem to be a breeding ground for the carp.
But that won’t happen quickly or inexpensively. At a bare minimum, it’s an $18 million plan that would take 25 years to finish.
[By which time the invasion will already be complete.]
Critics say the barrier plan is also inadequate because it doesn’t take into account other waterways that feed into the Great Lakes.
. . .
Could Killer Shrimp-Nado, the Movie be next?
“Maybe you should call the SyFy Channel on that,” Popoff said.
More like Mega-Carp-Nado. Read the rest of the report here.

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