Image from Healthy Wildlife

Image from Healthy Wildlife

In a letter to the Presidents of GBA cottagers' associations, John McMullen implores everyone to take action by voicing your concern about the threat posed by invasive Asian Carp.

"To the Presidents:

Following up on the recent Great Lakes Fisheries Conference we spoke with Becky Cudmore who is Canada’s expert on Asian Carp. Becky is a Senior Science Advisor at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Becky reports that there has been evidence of reproduction of Grass Carp in the Sandusky River that flows into Lake Erie. Carp eggs have been found three times in that River over the past few years.  It has not been determined if any of these eggs have produced fish and, if so, the fish have made it into Lake Erie. DNA testing showed that none of the few Grass Carp that were caught in Lakes Erie and Ontario in 2015 were from the Sandusky River. There were 11 Grass Carp caught in 2016, 10 in Lake Gibson which is attached to the Welland Canal and 1 west of Point Pelee.  DNA testing of these fish has yet to be completed. If the Grass Carp get established in the Great Lakes they will out compete the native species of plant eating fish and other wildlife.

The State of Ohio has the primary responsibility for managing the water in the Sandusky River. They are reluctant to spend the money that would be necessary to eradicate the Grass Carp in that River at least until more research has been completed on the threat posed by the Carp and the options to eradicate them should the threat be substantiated.  This seeming lack of urgency has created concern in the Great Lakes community. The eight Great Lakes States and Ontario and Quebec have an agreement to come to each other’s aid in situations like this to deal with Asian Carp. To date Ohio has not asked for any aid.

The most appropriate action that GBA members can take at this time is to write to key elected officials  to implore them to take action to prevent Grass Carp from breeding in the Sandusky River and entering the Great Lakes. We have drafted two sample letters (attached). One is meant to be used by Ohio residents and the other by Ontario residents. We have included the names and addresses of the appropriate elected officials in both jurisdictions to write. It would be helpful if you could circulate this to individuals in your Association who you think would be willing to write letters. GBA has sent our own letter to Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.

John McMullen, President

The Georgian Bay Association


Ohio Representatives Contact Information and Letter

Governor John Kasich
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-6117

 

Senator Sherrod Brown

801 West Superior Ave., Suite 1400

Cleveland, OH 44113 

 

Senator Rob Portman

1240 East 9th Street
Room 3061
Cleveland, OH 44199

 

Dear Sir,

I am writing to you as a voter in the State of Ohio to bring to your attention a matter that is of great concern to me and my family. It concerns Asian Carp. 

It has been reported that eggs from Grass Carp have been found in the Sandusky River. Scientists are trying to determine if these eggs are associated with the 11 Grass Carp that were found in Lake Erie and adjoining bodies of water this year. If so this could be the start of a devastating contamination of our Great Lakes by these invasive fish. We have been told that the State of Ohio and the Government of the United Sates are reluctant to take any measures to eradicate the Grass Carp population in the Sandusky River until further studies are complete. We think this is short sighted. We believe that the cost of eradicating a relatively small population of these Carp at this point in time would be prudent and could head off an enormous cost if Grass Carp get a foothold in the Great Lakes. We urge you to use the power of your office to encourage the appropriate departments to take action immediately to eradicate the Carp in the Sandusky River.

Sincerely,

[Insert Your Name Here]


Ontario Representatives Contact Information and Letter

 

Hon. Kathryn McGarry

Minister Natural Resources and Forestry

Whitney Block 6th Flr Rm 6630, 99 Wellesley St W, Toronto, ON M7A 1W3

 

Dear Minister, 

I am writing to you to bring to your attention a matter that is of great concern to me and my family. It concerns Asian Carp. 

It has been reported that eggs from Grass Carp have been found in the Sandusky River in Ohio. Scientists are trying to determine if these eggs are associated with the 11 Grass Carp that were found in Lake Erie and adjoining bodies of water this year. If so this could be the start of a devastating contamination of our Great Lakes by these invasive fish. We have been told that the State of Ohio and the Government of the United Sates are reluctant to take any measures to eradicate the Grass Carp population in the Sandusky River until further studies are complete. We think this is short sighted. We believe that the cost of eradicating a relatively small population of these Carp at this point in time would be prudent and could head off an enormous cost if Grass Carp get a foothold in the Great Lakes. We understand that the Province of Ontario has an agreement with the eight Great Lake States to provide assistance to one another if and when action needs to be taken to prevent an Asian Carp outbreak in the Great Lakes. We think now is one of those times. We urge you to reach out to your Ohio and US counterparts to encourage them to take action immediately to eradicate the Carp in the Sandusky River and to provide whatever assistance they may require to do so. 

Sincerely,

[Insert Your Name Here]

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