WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), a member of the congressional Great Lakes Task Force, today reinforced his calls to close the Chicago locks to prevent Asian carp from infiltrating the Great Lakes Watershed. Upton is a cosponsor of the CARP ACT, H.R. 4472, which will immediately close the locks in the Chicago Area Waterway System, which connect Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. The measure, introduced by Michigan Rep. Dave Camp (R-Traverse City) has been stalled in the subcommittee with jurisdiction. Upton is now working with Rep. Camp and other Michigan colleagues on an alternative solution to close off routes into Lake Michigan.
“The nightmare scenario is unfolding before our eyes with the discovery of a live, 20 pound carp six miles from Lake Michigan and yet the Chicago shipping locks remain open,” said Upton. “Our treasured Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes watershed hang in the balance as well as its $7.5 billion fishing industry and the 800,000 jobs it supports. We have reached a critical mass for the President to implement his so-called zero tolerance policy – the first step would be closing the locks and the CARP ACT will do just that.”
Legislation is necessary as the U.S. Supreme Court last month refused to halt the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes by denying to grant Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox’s request for an injunction to immediately close the Chicago-area locks
Asian carp can grow to 100 pounds, eating up to 40 percent of their body weight each day. Due to their large size and rapid rate of reproduction, these fish could single handedly decimate the Great Lakes fishing industry and irreversibly change the delicate ecosystem.