Standing on the banks of the Mississippi River, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar was joined Monday by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and representatives of conservation groups to highlight legislative and legal efforts to stop Asian carp from getting into Minnesota’s lakes and rivers.
Klobuchar serves on the Senate Environment Committee, and said in the short term there needs to be a physical barrier that will prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan. The long-term solution will require developing new ways to permanently contain and reduce the population of the fish in American rivers and lakes. To that end, Klobuchar is cosponsoring three pieces of legislation targeted at Asian carp.
Klobuchar said, “There’s no place for Asian carp in our waters, whether it’s Lake Superior or the Mississippi River.” She added that the invasive species will ruin the habitat of native fish populations, and will have a devastating effect on commercial and recreational fishing, tourism and boating.
Last month, a 19-pound Asian carp was fished out of Lake Calumet, along the Chicago area Waterway System and just six miles from Lake Michigan. Asian carp have also been found in the Mississippi River as far north as Lake Pepin.
Earlier this month, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson joined four other states in filing a lawsuit against the federal government and Chicago’s water department to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The lawsuit seeks to immediately close Chicago shipping locks and gates that could provide a pathway for the fish to enter Lake Michigan.
Asian carp can eat up to 40 percent of their body weight daily and they grow as large as four feet long and weigh up to 100 pounds.