Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Nature: Difficult to Control

U.S., Wisconsin, Economy, Employment, Quality of Life

We have been recipients of many reports about just how the Army Engineers and various state agencies are fighting off the invasion of Asian Carp.  That battle has apparently been lost so far as the upper Mississippi River is concerned.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported on Tuesday that eggs and late-stage embryos of bighead or silver carp have been found in the Mississippi River near Lynxville, WI in Crawford County some 250 miles further north than had ever been known before this discovery.

Many of us have seen the videos of these giants jumping over and into boats when they are agitated by the sounds of boat motors.  Imagine moving at 15 knots in a small boat only to be slammed into by a 100 lb. fish flying through the air.  That wouldn’t just hurt; it could be a deadly experience and there would likely be no real way to protect yourself other than to stay ashore.

We seem to always think that we are the masters of nature until it is shown that we aren’t.  It seems this is one of those cases and there is a very real threat to the use of the Mississippi River by boaters and fishermen and women as these giant fish gain more and more a foothold, or fin-hold, in this part of the Mississippi.

The fear has always been directed toward Asian Carp gaining access to the Great Lakes, and an electrical barrier was built in the Illinois Canal to try to keep the fish away from Lake Michigan.   There are varying reports concerning the effectiveness of that barrier.

This could be the beginning of the end of sport fishing, water skiing, etc. in/on the upper Mississippi River and that would be potentially devastating to the economies all along the Mississippi.  The many small communities that continue to find ways to exist on the shores of this mighty river could easily wither and die over time.

We are seldom a match for Mother Nature and this may well be another of those situations that are simply insoluble by man, at least at anything like a reasonable price.  

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