Senator Klobuchar and Rep Ellison are poised to introduce legislation aimed at stopping the spread of Asian carp above the St. Anthony Falls Lock & Dam, slowing their advance up the Mississippi River, and directing federal resources at research to control/suppress them. I was in Washington D.C. last week in part to garner support from the rest of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation. The legislation will have the best chance for passage in 2012 (when we need it) if all Congressional members join as authors this week. Calls to your Representative and Sen. Franken urging they put their names on the bills are needed in the next day or two especially.
In part, the legislation requires a feasibility study of restoring St. Anthony Falls as a fish barrier by closing the uppermost lock.
A few things to keep in mind:
· No agricultural commodities move through the upper three locks
· At stake are the bulk of the 43,000 jobs which fishing activity generates in Minnesota
· Only three businesses use the upper lock
For several years Minnesota Trout Unlimited has been diligently working to prevent the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes through the Chicago canal. Over the past year or more we have also been working to keep them from entering Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes from other pathways as well, such as the Libby Branch of the Swan River in north central Minnesota. As we have dug deeper into the threat and our coalition of conservation and sporting groups has grown, it has become clear that Asian carp ultimately pose a threat to many of our coldwater fisheries outside the Lake Superior basin.