An invasive species is a plant or animal that is foreign to an ecosystem. During the past two centuries, invasive species have significantly changed the Great Lakes ecosystem. These changes have greatly affected the economy, health, and well being of the people that rely on the system for food, water, and recreation. Once established, it is extremely difficult to control their spread.
At least 25 invasive species of fish have entered the Great Lakes since the 1800s, including:
•spiny water flea
Based on the problems caused by invasive species, scientists are also closely watching other species that have invaded nearby ecosystems. Asian carp are of particular concern because they have been found in nearby waterways that eventually connect to the Great Lakes. In 2004, EPA and other state and local agencies began construction of a permanent electric barrier to prevent the fish from entering Lake Michigan. EPA is also studying how existing invasive species have become established in the Great Lakes. These studies will help develop new techniques to predict future invasions.
Invasive species regulation through an interstate compact will definitely be a great regulatory mechanism. This will allow the EPA to not only do a little more research, but also allow the species to be controlled and monitored.
“Invasive Species.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 06 Dec. 2016. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.
Being an avid fisherman invasive species are a big concern that I have. These species have the potential to threaten the native fish of the Great Lakes as they will force competition for food sources. Asian carp have also been known to fly out of the water and injure individuals while driving their boats, the fish are doing this as a reaction to the noise that the motor on the boat creates, although personally I have never experienced this phenomenon. The interstate compact is a good starting point as it allows the states to react quickly without the moderate speed of Federal involvement, but there should be more done on the Federal level, as the feds can aid the states with the appropriate funding needed to eradicate the invasive species. It would appear that our friends in Canada are also trying to get a grasp on the invasive species as they have established the Invasive Species Act, which allows individuals to destroy them legally, almost treating them like varmints. There are several places throughout Illinois that charter bow fishing trips, and the great thing about these trips is that there is little to no regulation on Asian carp, kill as many as you want, but unfortunately that is a sign of how bad the problem has become.
Stop the spread of invasive species https://www.ontario.ca/page/stop spread invasive s…
Asian Carp Response in the Midwest http://www.asiancarp.us/faq.htm#Q1