EDITORIAL: Close the locks
The news coming out of the Chicago area is encouraging — scientists there trying to intercept the voracious Asian carp before they can become a problem in the Great Lakes couldn't find any.
For more than six weeks, biologists from an alphabet soup of government agencies have tested the waters of the Chicago Area Waterway Systems where Asian carp DNA has been found and came up empty-handed.
An announcement from the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Agency said 25 biologists have conducted sampling in the rivers and canals, using both electrofishing and nets, as part of longer term carp control plan that will be designed to keep the carp out of the Great Lakes.
“Intensifying our sampling and monitoring efforts in high-risk areas for Asian carp provides us with critical data on population dynamics, potential range expansion and movement of the species,” said Charlie Wooley, Deputy Regional Director of the Service. “The Service will continue to support monitoring efforts in coordination with Illinois DNR crews to ensure we cover as much area as possible this field season.”
We agree that scientists need to conduct the testing to find out the extent of the carp's range, but we also believe that the links between the Great Lakes and CAWS should be closed during this testing.
The information gleaned from the studies is not a substitute for doing what needs to be done — closing the Chicago-area locks to ensure the Great Lakes’ long-term viability.
We call on President Barack Obama and his administration's personnel to put the long-term future of the Great Lakes before the short-term interests of Chicago-area politicians and businessmen.
— Midland Daily News. March 30, 2010.