Monday, May 14, 2007

Where Will It (we) End?

I've shown you this picture before. It tells you which fish in the Milwaukee River should not be eaten or eaten only in limited amounts. The river, it seems, has been polluted with all sorts of industrial and agricultural stuffs. Turns out, there was even a refinery not far from my house, and one arm of the river is filthy with PCB's. The same is true, to a lesser degree, of Lake Michigan. The belly fat of the large Coho Salmon are noted to be full of PCB's and other stuff as well. Pregnant women are advised not to eat fish from the lake. In my medical (and humble) opinion, only someone with a death wish or a desire to work in a side show at a carnival would eat anything that has lived in the local waters.

Some of our problems stem from foreign life being brought in by ballast water pumped from trans oceanic ships. Now, there is talk of closing the seaway into the Great Lakes to avoid future disasters. This after the introduction of the Zebra Muscle. This little fellow eats up the particulate matter in the water and has, in fact, made the water of Lake Michigan clearer than it has been in years. Turns out it is too clear. The sun can now penetrate further down into the water which has resulted in an over growth of some "plant" life. In addition, the little muscles seem to like to populate intake pipes and have reeked havoc by plugging some of them up.

Well, in case we thought there would be nothing to worry about, along comes this headline in the local rag:

I won't even go into the Asian Carp that are huge and have no natural predators and are working their way towards us as I write. Is this going to end up the way it did when the lake was infested with the Lamprey Eels? Back then, all the streams were poisoned, and the eels killed off. Of course, so were the lake trout. That's why the Coho were introduced (and fostered a sports fishing industry here...but I digress). Maybe next time, we can introduce Puff The Magic Dragon. It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

Paddle safe...



DaveO said...

I remember crossing on the ferry from Ludington to Kewaunee in 1966. The entire surface of the lake was covered with dead alewife. And then when the sportfish were introduced that wonderful snagging season was instituted. My buddy is an ER doc up in Minocqua and feared his world fish hook removal record would be threatened by this activity.

We just can't seem to see past the end of our noses when it comes to the environment. I've always said if that scheme to sell Lake Superior water to the southwest ever came close to realization, that I'd start an underground guerilla movement. God forgive us our stupidity!

Tin said...

The good news: the Asian carp are edible and can be caught with a net when they jump. Plus they'll slow down the power boaters who get tired of getting slammed in the face by these monsters. With any luck, they'll have an appetite for zebra mussels. They seem to eat a lot.

...Hey, either look at the bright side or curl up and die.

Silbs said...

Yeah, but if they get any bigger they will start eating kayaks :)