Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

October 24, 2013

WILLIAMS: Horror flick on the lake

It sounds like a horror movie – Invasion of the Asian Carp – and really, it is a bit of a horror story. Hundred-pound, 4-feet-long flying fish that smash into, or even jump into, boats. As is so often the case, the Asian carp invasion stemmed from the Law of Unintended Consequences. They were brought here deliberately, meant to stay safely in their ponds as cleaner fish. But some of them escaped and they’ve been moving north via the Mississippi ever since, infesting rivers as they go, including our own Wabash River. Can’t you almost hear suspenseful music playing in the background?

The problem with Asian carp is that they eat plankton at an astonishing rate, as much as 40 percent of their body weight every day, thus crowding out native species of fish that we like better. They are also prolific breeders. Fishermen have reported seeing a three/quarter mile stretch of the Wabash River crowded with spawning Asian carp from bank to bank.

Reuben Goforth, assistant professor of aquatic community ecology at Purdue University has been studying Asian carp in the Wabash River and even he is spooked by what he calls the carps’ “Jurassic Park” ability to adapt. He says that his team has discovered that the gills on some species of carp are changing, so that they are stronger. “They are not tied to specific water levels like we thought they were,” Goforth states. “They are not tied to spawning at a particular time of year like we thought they were. We’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Governments are trying to react. The federal government considers the carp such a threat that President Obama named a “Carp Czar”. Illinois built an electric barrier to try to keep the carp from entering Lake Michigan. Commercial fishermen have been hired by the government to remove 1,000 tons of Asian carp from the Illinois River. Researchers are trying to discover a carp-specific toxin though they say it would only be effective in a small area. Authorities are even considering reversing the flow of the Chicago River.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • HAMILTON: Why incumbents keep getting reelected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 24, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Write clear rules for vanity plate licenses We see vanity license plates regularly. Some are funny or thought-provoking. Others are just plain puzzling.One specialty plate backing autism research and support carries the heartfelt message “4MYSON.” Others are more prosaic, as in COLTFANZ.It’s c

    July 24, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Four-legged family I have three pets. First, Paisley, a long-haired cream and tortoise Ragdoll cat. She’s the aristocracy in our group, compared to the rest of us, who are all blue collar folks. Her movements are slow and stately and her mien is gracious. She is by far

    July 24, 2014

  • Holly Sklar SKLAR: Small businesses want minimum wage increase If Congress actually listened to small business owners, the minimum wage would be going up. Instead, July 24 will mark five years without an increase since the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 an hour in 2009.Small business livelihoods depend on

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • KITCHELL: Reaction times change, but motorists don't Earlier this year, I came home one afternoon to find the worst accident on North Street I can ever recall.A bevy of police cars and four flatbed trucks were removing the pawns in an accident that damaged four vehicles. It was a bit unusual considerin

    July 23, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Keeping insects under control curbs disease State health officials said last week mosquitoes in two northern Indiana counties tested positive for the West Nile virus, The Associated Press reported.The state health department said mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties were confirmed to have

    July 23, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana's ethics laws in need of reform The Indiana State Ethics Commission’s recent approval of an agreement between the state inspector general and Tony Bennett settles the charges against the former state superintendent of schools.But the settlement raises more concerns about the loopho

    July 22, 2014

  • MARCUS: Tax simplification is no simple matter The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 22, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The sheer dumbness of an enormous dome There is a TV series about an entire town trapped under a giant, mysterious crystal-clear dome that appears out of the blue one day. The dome is impenetrable; no one can get in, no one can get out. Who made the dome? Aliens? God? A super-secret branc

    July 22, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.The report, issued by the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on T

    July 21, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.