Asian carp are one step closer to infiltrating Lake Michigan.
Concerns about Asian Carp continue to grow after federal and state officials found two of the fish 12 miles closer to Lake Michigan. USA Today reports the 6.5-inch Silver Carp, or Asian Carp, were found in the Illinois River just outside of Seneca, Illinois.
The discovery puts the invasive species about 76 miles from Lake Michigan. Concerns exist that the species could severely damage native habitat and food sources if they reach the lake.
Michigan senator Debbie Stabenow responded to the announcement by asking for action from the Obama administration. “I remain extremely concerned that Asian carp are getting closer and closer to Lake Michigan,” Stabenow told the Detroit Free Press. “Time is running out.”
While there are several dams and special electric dispersal barriers between the latest spot the carp were found and Lake Michigan, Stabenow has been calling for action on the issue for years now. She, along with U.S. Rep Candice Miller, have asked for the Army Corps of Engineers to look more seriously at separating Lake Michigan from waterways leading into it.
“I will continue to urge the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take immediate action to protect the Great Lakes basin from this terrible threat,” Stabenow told the Detroit Free Press.
The Detroit Free Press reports projections of up to $18 billion to put physical barriers between Illinois waterways and Lake Michigan.
The news about the latest location arrives as criticisms pour in regarding the electric dispersal barriers. The Detroit Free Press states that there is a possibility of small fish being swept past the barriers when barges pass.