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Asian carp: Silence of the Lambs

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Mike Skwira sent a chilling report--``The Silence of the Lambs''--on the area around the latest officially-sanctioned fish kill on Chicago waterways, the second such deliberate fish kill within half a year.


The word is ``enough'' when it comes to killing Chicago fishing in the Great Asian Carp Quest.

Skwira, shown above on an outing on the Chicago River downtown two summers ago, sent this: `

I went out of Alsip on the Cal Sag Sunday morn. Stopped at the Pulaski bridge-nothing-continued on to Riverdale-fished for about 45 mins. -nothing. My plan was to run to the O'Brien Lock and go through to the lake....fat chance. I waited at least 45 minutes no locks would open. When this used to happen (commonly for fishing boats) we were able to fish around there..not anymore. It was eerie...No fish on the gulls.....not a dimple on the water. You can still smell the chemicals....The thought that came into my mind as I floated there was...The Silence of the Lambs. I ended up turning around and going home. The river had a foul stench to it. There was a line of dead fish I blasted through at Acme steel......There was signs of spawning carp down river at Riverdale...but no game fish...

Mike (no fish) Skwira

That section of the Little Cal, the 2 1/2-mile stretch poisoned in May, is an area where fishing had rebounded to the point where a fair number of tournaments were launching from there.

So now fish are being killed there to quiet the grandstanding of officials in Michigan?

Not acceptable.

There was a line crossed with this fish kill. The first fish kill, on a six-mile stretch of the Sanitary and Ship Canal in early December, 2009, was not a fishing area.

The Little Cal is--or should that be was?--in that stretch.

At least IDNR officials among the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee realized the fish kill on the Little Cal would sting with fishermen.

That's why IDNR officials knew they had to plan to restock game fish in that stretch. But they will not be restocking 3- or 4-pound bass, the kind that took years to grow.

We lost something significant. And it hurts.


Click here for updates from the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.

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Just look around you..... Isn't it obvious that government always knows best?? NOT!!

This is sad, and I understand. I do however think it would be best for the fishing to stay good if the locks were just plain and simple closed off. We aren't talking about a stretch in Chicago where the fishing has gone bad, we are talking about a huge massive resource that is being gambled with for the sake of shipping, something that could be done in an alternate way. This is not choosing sides with Illinois or Michigan (other GL states), it is choosing between those who love sport fishing and a shipping industry. I think that is really where the issue is. I understand there is a lot to this debate, it's just a matter of where you draw your line in the sand. I'm not a gambler.

They can do what they want, but at some point, Larry, Daryl and Daryl are going to catch some carp and drive them to the lake and set em free just to screw with em. Not to mention those with the vested interest in keeping the locks open.

Carp is considered game fish in the United Kingdom and Europe. In elitist North America it is considered a problem. What a shame. :-(

From what I understand:

45 minutes? No lock would open? There is one of three reasons for this. Either the lock was busy (turned the other way or waiting on commercial craft), the boater just missed the last lockage or maybe the lock operator didn't see anyone, even after the pleasure boat signal was rung or the radio call made. For recreational (pleasure) craft, the operator's have to see recreational boats in the queueing/arrival area to get the lock ready. It is a waste of water (O'Brien is:

Sorry for the cutoff... To make a long story short, the area around (below) the lock is a shipping area... NOT A FISHING AREA. True there are fish populations returning, but the Cal-Sag has always been sanitary/shipping first, just like the other fish kill area on the Sanitary. That is why the Sag was built, for sanitary and shipping. Make it a kill/dead zone and no carp get to the lake! Simple, right?

At some point, Bighead carp are going to swim in from Lake Erie and this whole discussion will be moot.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on June 2, 2010 8:47 AM.

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