Peter Hoekstra, a congressman from Michigan stated the a range of Solutions were discussed: "Several ideas and bipartisan solutions were discussed to prevent the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes," Hoekstra said. "There is no single arrow in the quiver. Solutions will need to be based upon managerial, chemical, engineering and structural components."
The carp summit on February 8th will include: Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Obama Administration officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Coast Guard will meet with Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.
The meeting comes two weeks after the US Army Corps of Engineers announced that it found so-called environmental DNA of the Asian carp in Lake Michigan. This DNA suggests that the species is nearby, although no specimen have been found within 40 miles of the lake to date.
Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan proposed a bill last week to force Chicago to close the locks to the canals flowing into Lake Michigan. The Supreme Court refused to force Chicago to do so.
But those at the carp summit were hoping to find other solutions. Rep. Biggert warned of the economic impact of shutting down the heavily trafficked canals, and not just for Illinois. "I think all of the states need to look at the numbers and see how many businesses rely on shipments that use the waterways from here to Louisiana and back," she said.
Sen. Durbin said that, as a result of the conference, he'll ask Congress to contribute an additional $20 million to help develop new techniques to fight the carp. He is also expected to attend the White House's carp summit, planned for some time next week.
Also recently Salmon Unlimited has come out in support of closing the Chicago-area locks as a stop-gap measure to prevent the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.
Here's the statement from SU:
After careful consideration of the ramifications introducing Asian Carp into the Great lakes would cause, the board of Salmon Unlimited of Illinois has voted to support the closing of the locks leading from the canals into Lake Michigan. It is our opinion the threat to the lake and its tributaries is greater than the threat of possible flooding or loss of jobs to businesses that use the canals. We realize that this should be a short term decision until a better long term solution can be developed by the government agencies studying the problem at this time. At risk is a 7.5 billion dollar sport fishing industry located in the Great Lakes and according to the biologists, the fish are now beyond the locks. It is our opinions that immediate action is required and closing the locks will not only slow the progress of the Asian carp, but will also increase the urgency of our government to decide on a more encompassing solution. We regret the inconvenience to boaters and loss of jobs this would cause, but doing nothing will cause much greater harm to many more boaters, fisherman and businesses in several states and Canada if this new invasive species is allowed to spread unabated.
Captain Jim Nelligan USCG 50 Ton Master Great Lakes
There is no doubt that this is a very serious issue that will have both economic and ecological impacts. We encourage you to contact your local DNR to see what your state is doing about the spread of these fish.