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Thu September 9, 2010
There's A New Czar In Town
The White House has appointed a new "Asian Carp Czar." Former Indiana environmental chief John Goss was tapped to coordinate the federal response to the Asian Carp. Governor Granholm says she intends to get in touch with Goss soon. The Chicago Breaking News Center explains the problems the fish cause:
Asian carp, which have steadily moved toward Chicago since the 1990s, present a challenge for scientists and fish biologists. The fish are aggressive eaters, consuming as much as 40 percent of their body weight a day in plankton, and frequently beat out native fish for food, threatening those populations.
They are also prolific breeders with no natural predators in the U.S. The fish were imported in the 1970s to help wastewater treatment facilities in the South keep their retention ponds clean. Mississippi River flooding allowed the fish to escape and then move into the Missouri and Illinois rivers. Some species can grow to more than 100 pounds.
John Selleck, spokesman for Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, says the appointment of Goss acknowledes that current efforts to contain the fish are failing.