Updated Thu, Jan 24, 2013 2:36 pm
A bipartisan bill would coordinate efforts of multiple agencies to control the spread of the invasive Asian carp in the Ohio River.
Senator Sherrod Brown and Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania sponsored the bill that would bring together local, state and federal agencies.
“We want to make sure it’s better coordinated so the legislation would simply say that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would coordinate the National Park Service, The Army Corps of Engineers, local and state Departments of Natural Resources, and communities that want to play a role,” Brown said.
According to the National Wildlife Federation the Asian carp are filter feeders that can grow to be over 100 pounds and eat up to 20 pounds of plankton a day. With no natural predators, the carp outcompetes native fish species for food and habitat.
Brown said the multimillion dollar fishing and recreation industry in the Great Lakes region and the Ohio River basin is at risk if the fish spreads eastward.
It can inflict serious damage on fishing on all that happens in the Great Lakes and we're concerned on what it can do in the Ohio River basin,” Brown said.
The bill would require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide an annual report to Congress on carp movement in the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.