Here, Fishy, Fishy
Not a trick photo.
Remember the old song “Summertime”: the fish are jumping and the cotton is high? Jumping like this?
Today’s Sacramento Bee newspaper reported that the Supreme Court refused to order the closure of Chicago area shipping locks to prevent these very fish, Asian Carp, from invading the Great Lakes
I needed to know more. Why should we be worried by a fish invasion? Martian invasion, yes. But, fish? Here’s what I Googled:
Bighead and silver carp are collectively known as Asian carp. These fish are very large, reaching up to 90 pounds. Because Asian carp are filter-feeders, scientists are concerned that the massive fish may deplete the Great Lake zooplankton populations. Zooplankton is the main food source for many native species, including mussels, larval fish, and some adult fish. The Asian carp’s niche may also overlap with salmon and perch, species with high recreational and commercial value, and may out-compete these species and endanger the fishery.
It is thought that the Asian carp escaped from catfish farms in the southern U.S.. They have spread throughout the Mississippi River system in less than a decade, and they have been caught less than 25 miles from the entrance to Lake Michigan in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. If they invade the Great Lakes, they will likely reproduce quickly and have immediate ecologic and economic effects.
Now these are not just your common pan-sized trout. They can grow up to four feet and can jump into a boat and knock the fisherman over. Stay-away -from -me.
This reminds me of the Kudzu vine, another escapee into our environment. It is gorgeous and green, and covers everything in its path. Trees, old barns, acres upon acres of our Southeast. Brought here to prevent erosion, and went nuts.
Don’t turn your back on this Wild Thing.
Another side to this story: medical experimentation is testing the plant as cure for migraine headaches, vertigo, stomach problems, alcohol addiction and even cancer prevention. If even one pans out, we have beaucoup raw material.
About the same time these bunnies were immigrating to Australia a different species was doing a “California Here I Come”. The snail. Introduced from Europe as escargot in the raw, and lived on to be a garden pest.