The largest freshwater fishing tournament in the Great Lakes kicked off on July 10 in Racine, Wis. One of the great concerns about the possibility of Asian Silver and Bighead carp entering into Lake Michigan is the potential for the destruction of sport fishing due to the radical changes that could happen to the food chain. The carp are voracious filter-feeders, and could out-compete the fish that serve as “food” for the trout and salmon, and could be the final nail in the coffin for the lake perch.
It wasn’t foremost on the minds of the anglers participating in Salmon-a-Rama, but when I explained the idea of my project, there seemed to be universal concern about the invasive carp, most recently found only six miles from the shoreline of Lake Michigan. It’s encouraging that this project is relevent even if the environmental outlook for the Great Lakes seems to be discouraging.
Over the next few days I hope to spend time with the anglers participating in this year’s contest. I’m also going to try to get in a few interviews with some local authorities on the issue before returning to Columbia.