Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 23:45
A group of us went tooling around the Illinois River last weekend. Great time talking and floating on the boat. All was calm until we started motoring back to shore that evening and the water erupted with flying fish.
Yep. The dreadful Asian carp. The species that has invaded Midwestern waters by the thousands and threatens to completely extinguish ecosystems in the Great Lakes. It was my first sighting. And, boy...what a show!
Come on now. All contextually valid arguments aside, these guys can really get some air. It's impressive. Hey, and what if it's imperative to the health of our waterways?
Bear with me a minute. What I'm saying is that it'd be much more difficult to get the media excited about invasive species if the things weren't literally flying in our face. (My condolences to anyone seriously injured by Asian carp, by the way. I know that's happened.)
Anyway, my point is that the threat of invasive species can go under most peoples' radar. Especially when the invasives thrive underwater. This whole spectacle has created incredible awareness. Now let's just hope it also creates an urgency for folks to get out and volunteer to address invasive issues on land and in the water.
Check out this video I found on YouTube...
Photo: David Riecks, UIUC/IL-IN Sea Grant
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