Today Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27), the Southtowns Walleye Association and the Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment congratulated the US Fish and Wildlife Service for publishing a rule that will ban the importation and interstate transport of live silver and largescale silver carp, commonly known as Asian carp. Silver carp were introduced in the United States in the early 1970s for use as algae control agents in sewage lagoons and fishery production ponds, but escaped into surrounding waters. They are now abundant in the Mississippi River watershed from Louisiana to South Dakota and Illinois, and pose a serious threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem.
“I applaud the Fish and Wildlife Service for taking these necessary steps to help prevent the further spread of Asian carp” said Congressman Higgins. “Invasive species cause over $5 billion in annual damages in the Great Lakes region and it is imperative our government take steps to prevent the introduction of additional injurious species.” In addition to the federal rule, Congressman Higgins has joined with other members of the Great Lakes Task Force to request funds for the construction of an electrical fish barrier to prevent the introduction of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes in next year’s federal budget.
Citizens Campaign for the Environment applauds Congressman Higgins for his leadership on Great Lakes restoration and the Fish and Wildlife Service for taking an important step keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes,” said Brian Smith, CCE WNY Program Director. “Asian carp present an unprecedented danger to people’s health, the region’s economy, and our recreational opportunities. The federal rule, along with the construction of the electronic barrier, is critical to preventing a catastrophe in an ecosystem already on the tipping point of ecological disaster.”
Dave "Woody" Woodworth, President of the Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY, the largest single species club in North America, joined in commending the action taken by US Fish Wildlife, "as fishermen, we are consumers of the resource and continue to advocate and support any steps that will protect our waterways today and for future generations."