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Residents Tell Army Corps And Feds To Quit Studying, Start Acting on Asian Carp Threat

The Army Corps says before it can deal with the threat of Asian Carp it needs more information. So the Army Corps plans to spend the next five years studying what impact the voracious species would have if it jumped from the Mississippi River system it's currently in to the Great Lakes. Also on the study list: methods to kill or control Asian Carp populations in the Mississippi and the Great Lakes, should they ever get here.

But those who spoke in a public hearing at Cleveland's Great Lakes Science Center argued it's time to stop studying and start acting. Speakers like fisherman and blogger Herb Imondi worry the Asian carp would devastate a $70 billion dollar sports fishing industry as the large fish crowd out other species.

Herb Imondi: Guys, this isn't rocket science. We're talking about a fish. An invasive species. And already there is 185 invasive species in the Great Lakes. If they get into our Great Lakes system in the next five to ten years, our fishery will be destroyed.

One hotly debated tactic is to separate the Mississippi River drainage system from the Great Lakes by blocking a man-made passage between the two in Chicago. That system is currently guarded by two electric gates that shock fish trying to pass through. A third gate is scheduled to be operational soon.

Army Corps Deputy Commander David Berczek of the Chicago district says the study needs to be finished before taking on the huge task of blocking the passage.

David Berczek: We've got to look and allow the data that we collect in the analysis to suggest the solution and how to implement that action.

This is the third in a series of 12 public hearings on Asian carp scheduled around the Great Lakes region.