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Asian Carp & the Great Lakes

Asian carp have been making their way up the Mississippi River system for years after escaping from fish farms and wastewater treatment ponds in the southern U.S. They’re knocking on the door of the Great Lakes, and a number of people are concerned about what could happen if carp become established in the region. In this five-part series, we’ll take a look at what officials are trying to do to keep the fish out, what might happen if carp get in, and why some people want to turn carp into a business opportunity.

Separating the Basins (Part 1)

Many biologists say the best way to keep Asian carp from getting into Lake Michigan would be to completely separate the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River watershed.  But basin separation comes with its own multi-billion dollar price tag, and would require re-plumbing the entire City of Chicago.

Industries Worry about Basin Separation
(Part 2)

The issue of keeping Asian carp out of Great Lakes has implications for a variety of industries. In the second part of our series on Asian carp, Adam Allington examines the potential economic implications for keeping the carp out of the lakes.

Other Pathways for Asian Carp (Part 3)

Scientists have identified many routes Asian carp could take to get into the Lakes. The Chicago area has gotten the most attention, but there are other important pathways – including perhaps the hardest to control: intentional or accidental introduction by people.

What if Asian Carp Make a Home Here? (Part 4)

What’ll happen if Asian carp get comfortable in the Great Lakes? We’ll explore the possibilities – and hear why different parts of the region could be better for carp than others.

Investing in Asian Carp (Part 5)

As Midwest political leaders struggle with ways to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, other parts of the country are investing in the carp’s future. Across the Mississippi Valley venture capitalists are investing in carp processing plants, many of which are now full-scale export operations. State officials are optimistic that commercial fishing will help keep the carp numbers in check….while also providing an economic boost to the region.