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BigOutdoors
07-25-2010, 08:16 AM
Sen. demands action against Asian Carp
Updated: Friday, 23 Jul 2010, 6:06 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 23 Jul 2010, 6:06 PM EDT

Nalina Shapiro
Posted by: Eli George
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - New York's junior U.S. Senator made a stop in western New York Friday on a mission to keep schools of destructive fish from reaching Lake Erie.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand faced some frustrated fishermen. She came to renew her call to stop Asian Carp from entering into the Great Lakes.

Erie Charter Captain Jim Hanley said, "It affects me the way the oil does the captains down in the Gulf of Mexico."

Jumping fish may look funny, but for fishermen like Hanley, they are no laughing matter.

"The fish that we basically fish for as charter captains, I have been doing it for 32 years, will basically be gone," said Hanley.

The problem is these 100 pound fish eat a lot of plankton, about 40 percent of their body weight.

Years ago when the Zebra Mussels came in and invaded Lake Erie, scientists say there was an extra amount of food in the water. Now there is only enough food for the existing population, which means if Asian Carp get into Lake Erie, it could destroy the fish population and devastate the region's current multi-billion dollar fishing industry.

Buffalo State College associate biology professor Alicia Perez-Fuentetaja said, "People that go out for salmon or steelhead trout may find that those fish are not doing very well at all, overtime may actually disappear."

Sen. Gillibrand said, "I'm renewing my call on the Coast Guard, the Army Corps, and the EPA, and the Fish and Wildlife to immediately close the locks connecting Mississippi and Great Lakes system."

Closing the locks is a temporary solution says Gillibrand, who adds it will give officials more time to come up with a plan to battle the Asian Carp.

"This is urgent. This is a crisis that needs attention, that's why I'm here," said Sen. Gillibrand