Asian Carp are poised to become the next great invasive species to the Great Lakes. If they crossover their final barrier into Lake Michigan they will become the most devastating invasive species to ever become established in the Great Lakes.
Asian Carp were first taken from China to American fish farms in the 1970’s as an inexpensive solution to remove algae from fish cages. Unfortunately, they soon began escaping from the fish farms and quickly established huge populations throughout the Mississippi River Basin. Asian Carp are voracious eaters, multiply quickly and have completely disrupted freshwater ecosystems in the U.S. by out-competing native fish species. Now they are on the doorstep of Lake Michigan, with only one underwater electric barrier preventing their movement into the Great Lakes.
The Water Brothers will examine how other invasive species like Zebra Mussels have changed the Great Lakes ecosystem and find out what an Asian Carp Invasion could do to the Great Lakes 4.5 billion dollar fishing economy. The brothers will also travel to the electric barrier south of Chicago and speak with local environmental officials who are working to prevent their spread into the Great Lakes. Later they will find themselves competing in a “Redneck Fishing Tournament”, a fun solution invented by locals in Bath, Illinois for a river overrun with jumping Carp where contestants cannot use rods and must catch the fish with nets as they fly out of the water! Although the tournament will be fun, our participation will also help us show the serious side to the problem by helping us experience how the Great Lakes could change if the Asian Carp ever made it past the barrier.
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