Court won't close shipping locks to keep out carp

This could be very bad news for the Great Lakes

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to allow Michigan’s request to close a lock which would keep Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. The whole case has not been decided yet so there may still be hope.

Court won’t close shipping locks to keep out carp





  1. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    The Obama Administration has made a poor environmental choice once again.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Barb Rupers,

    This was the U.S. Supreme Court, not the Obama Administration. Regarding the Administration, the article says, “The Obama administration said it would welcome such a meeting and called defeating Asian carp “one of our immediate priorities.’”

  3. Rich Hurry Avatar
    Rich Hurry

    Hi Ralph,
    Even though it was the Supreme Court which denied Michigan’s request for an injunction, it ruled as the Obama Administration requested:

    “…It (The Obama administration) sided with Illinois against closing the locks, however, telling the court that such action would disrupt the transport of coal and other commodities on waterways linking Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River system.”

    Now, it’s anyone’s guess as to what if any impact this had on the Court. But, Obama’s heart is, once again, in the wrong place.

    In a separate article, ( IL Senator Dick Durbin is quoted as saying he’s confident the carp can be stopped before they get to Lake Michigan. Since Illinois hasn’t stopped them yet, I have no confidence in his belief that in the final 6 miles they can be halted.

    I’ve had the pleasure of fishing for coho salmon and lake perch in Lake Michigan and just pleasure boating there. I would hate to see the waters engulfed in asian carp that crowd out game fish and knock people out of their boats, as well. Zebra mussels have been bad enough!!

  4. Pronghorn Avatar

    I am publicly challenging Dick Durbin to personally eat every Asian carp that makes it into Lake Michigan. If he’s so confident they can be stopped, he’ll take the bet. Right, Dick?

    Coho, BTW, were introduced into the lake some 40 years ago. Nonetheless, an Asian carp invasion would have a profound effect on the towns that turned to tourism to stay alive after the manufacturing industries of the last century moved out.

  5. Jim Avatar

    Stupid decision by the court. There has to be other ways to move coal and other products around. Obama does not care about the environment.He only cares about appeasing his political allies. I just hope Rahm Emmanuel does end up the mayor of Chicago.

  6. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Not to defend Obama but this is the US Supreme Court which takes no orders from the President, nor Congress.

  7. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    My comment was directed to the last paragraph of the article which stated that the Obama administration sided with Illinois against closing the locks, however, telling the court that such action would disrupt the transport of coal and other commodities on waterways linking Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River system.

  8. Jim Avatar

    I understand, but there are pressures that can be used, just like the Bush administration used political pressure to get what it wanted. It is just frustrating that common sense is often ignored. It makes me angry that many of the same people that “sided with IL” will be screaming and complaining about the loss of jobs and money if the carp ruin the lake.

  9. jdubya Avatar

    I think they be a tad late in coming to the dinner table.

  10. JimT Avatar

    EPA and the enviro agencies never seem to learn that once an invasive species, flora or fauna, are entrenched, that is it. Zebra mussels should have taught them that. Now, we have pythons forever entrenched in the Everglades, people in the south are looking to Japanese cuisine and biofuel technologies to at least make use of kudzu.

    I also thought I had read another release that mentioned the infamous snakeheads as well….

    This is about money in a bad economy, and the need for Obama to show he is about getting it back on track. Meaningful health care is dead after Massachusetts election, so he has to come up with economic gains if we are to avoid a massacre in the fall elections. People are just blindly angry, and Obama is getting the blame for all the seeds Bush sowed and have matured. For Justice to take this kind of stance is appalling and shortsighted.

  11. Rich Hurry Avatar
    Rich Hurry

    Michigan’s junior senator Debbie Stabenow just issued last night the following regarding the Asian Carp problem. Let’s hope Congress can act swiftly enough!

    Subject: Asian carp
    From: “Senator Debbie Stabenow”
    Date: Thu, January 21, 2010 7:21 pm

    United States Senator Debbie Stabenow –

    Dear ,

    As you may know, the Great Lakes are threatened by the spread of the
    invasive Asian carp, an extremely large fish that is so aggressive and
    reproduces so rapidly that it could devastate our fish populations.
    These fish can weigh up to 100 pounds and grow to up to four feet in
    length. They were accidentally released into the Mississippi River
    system in the 1990s and have been steadily moving upstream.

    Today, I introduced the CARP ACT in the U.S. Senate. This bill directs
    the Army Corps of Engineers to construct additional barriers and
    immediately close the locks between the Chicago waterway and Lake
    Michigan to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp. Congressman Dave
    Camp (R-Michigan) has also introduced the companion legislation in the
    House of Representatives.

    Yesterday, scientists announced that carp DNA has been detected above
    the electrical barrier that was placed in the locks to prevent the carp
    from entering the Great Lakes. While finding the DNA is not conclusive
    proof that carp have actually crossed the barrier, it is urgent that we
    respond quickly to keep them from crossing into the Great Lakes. These
    fish pose a grave risk to our state, especially Michigan’s $7 billion
    boating and fishing industry.

    I have been working to ensure that federal and state experts have all
    the tools they need to protect the Great Lakes from the Asian carp, and
    so far, the efforts have been very successful. However, the recent
    announcements by scientists are a troubling development that requires an
    urgent response. Therefore, the bills that Congressman Camp and I
    introduced call for immediate action to:

    Immediately close the barriers and locks into the Great Lakes

    Expedite the installation of interim barriers in rivers where no
    barriers currently exist

    Enhance existing barriers and monitoring systems to prevent fish from
    crossing into the Great Lakes

    Grant full authority to the Army Corps of Engineers to eradicate the
    Asian carp and prevent them from entering the Great Lakes.

    As your Senator, I will continue to work to protect our Great Lakes,
    which are critical to our state’s livelihood. As always, please do not
    hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you or your family.


    Debbie Stabenow

    United States Senator

  12. jdubya Avatar

    Some republican will say “no” and all 41 of them will group together like a flock of sheep crying “no”, “no”,”no”.. and that will be the end of it.

  13. Layton Avatar

    Oh — my — God!!

    The senate gets one more Republican — which only makes it so the Dems don’t have a FILIBUSTER proof majority – still 59 to 41 – and now they can blame everything on the “right wingers”. Wow!! (or is it Waaaaaa?)

    Kinda looks to me like the USA just partially returned to a two party system!!

  14. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    This loss was probably good for the Democrats. They were asleep and falling into the cozy arrangements with lobbyists that had felled the Republicans.

    What this probably means is that no congressional seat is safe in 2010 (well maybe a few are), but neither Republicans nor Democrats are safe from the backlash of hurting and fed up voters.

  15. Si'vet Avatar

    If this upset sends a message and a shudder through DC and state capitols, saying were tired of the samo old buddy crap, we will all better off, no matter which party you affilate with.

  16. jdubya Avatar

    The democrats could not accomplish anything with a super majority, now they will do nothing, and it is in the republican’s best interest to continue to stop anything Obama wants to do. We will be in a legislative stalemate until next January.

  17. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    As we have many times in the past jdubya

  18. JimT Avatar

    And this kind of “say no to everything” stance by the Republicans is helpful? To whom?

    The filibuster rule in the Senate has to be changed; this idea that 41 Senators can prevent anything from being done is destructive no matter which party it is. Go back to the old way..make someone stay at the podium ala Jimmy Stewart and then see how many of these you get.

    I am hoping it is a wake up call to the Dems; it seems to have stirred Obama a bit. Start reminding and reminding people that Republicans created this mess, and are not interested in the least in solving it, only blaming Dems to make political gains. Simple, and it happens to be the truth, which may or may not make a difference….;*)


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole