Asian carp: Questions on Chicago lakefront

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Amy Enchelmeyer is a graduate student with Medill News Service working on a documentary on Asian carp.


Wednesday, we roamed the lakefront around Burnham harbor, Northerly Island and 31st Street. I fished some and talked about my view of Asian carp.

Her questions forced me to examine how I think about Asian carp.

I ended up boiling down my feelings as a fisherman to several main points: 1) The Army Corps of Engineers has bungled this from the beginning, especially with regard to the electric barrier; 2) It’s almost inevitable that Asian carp will reach Lake Michigan (a few have already been found in Lake Erie); 3) while I don’t like the idea of Asian carp advancing on, eventually, like with gobies and zebra mussels, another balance will be struck and nobody can say with certainty how that balance will look.

I am curious to see what kind of documentary she makes. She is putting a lot of work into it and talking to the key people.

Oh, I caught fish, mainly small ones. The first fish was a small round goby. She asked what I did with them. And I said I killed them, then, if the gulls didn’t get them first, threw them away when I left.

Well, I pointed to a gull sitting on the bank and said I bet he is waiting on a goby. As soon as I threw it down, the gull flew down and gulped the goby down. Like a movie star, on camera.

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