FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

How to Kill a Carp

by MARTHA ROSENBERG

It’s been a year since the Illinois Department of Natural Resources poisoned all the fish in Lincoln Park’s South Pond to “restore” the water body into a “model Illinois freshwater habitat.” Most of the world was watching the events a mile away in Grant Park as Barack Obama was named 44th President of the United States.

Tens of thousands of goldfish, koi, bass, crappie, catfish and sunfish/bluegill hybrids which inhabited the pond for 140 years suffocated and struggled to the surface after state “environmentalists” poisoned the water with Rotenone. Soon the lagoon sported a slick of shiny, golden and still moving fish like a macabre layered bar drink.

The irony of killing the fish to save the pond was not lost on Chicago residents who have enjoyed the fish from rented paddle boats on the 5.2 acre pond for generations.

“It takes such a long time for them to grow and they’re just gonna kill them off,” lamented Carlos de la Pena to CBS news.

This week Illinois DNR practiced its poisonomics again and dosed six miles of the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal (CSSC) to save the $7 billion sport fishing industry from invasive carp and protect boaters from being “attacked” by carp which can “leap out of the water” and strike them. The fish kill cost $3 million.

The Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal connects Lake Michigan and the Chicago River with the Mississippi River.

The three day poisoning spree produced 90 tons of dead fish since Rotenone suffocates all fish equally, but officials say they are “non sport fish” like goldfish and gizzard shad.

What the three day poisoning spree didn’t produce after 2,200 gallons of Rotenone were dumped in the waterways was carp. Only one carp was retrieved from the so-called Asian Carp Rapid Response Project. Oops.

It’s hard to believe that IDNR, the US Army Corps of Engineers, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Coast Guard, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Chicago Department of Environment, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Midwest Generation, Great Lakes Commission and Great Lakes Fishery Commission could collectively–or individually– be that dumb.

That they would waste our tax dollars and kill perfectly healthy wildlife for no reason.

Aren’t they wildlife professionals, biologists and scientists?

But it is even harder to believe government natural resource stewards would poison a waterway connected to a lake three million people drink from for the one percent or less of the population who sport fish!

While officials say Rotenone is not harmful to humans “if used correctly” and “the nearest public drinking water system downstream is 125 miles from the CSSC,” they also said carp were in the canal.

Of course government wildlife agencies’ tax-funded gratuities to sportsman are nothing new.

Despite Illinois’ $750 million budget gap the IDNR maintains a 20,000 square foot breeding facility, Helfrich Wildlife Propagation Center, on the southern edge of Edward R. Madigan State Park near Lincoln, where 150,000 pheasants are hatched and raised for state-sponsored controlled hunts at state parks. Think Dick Cheney hunting.

“Illinois schools are losing money, state parks are scheduled to close and some state workers only recently started getting their paychecks on time. But pheasant hunters around the state still have reason to smile: Illinois will spend $1.4 million this year to mate, hatch and raise ring-neck pheasants for hunting at 16 state conservation areas. And it will recover only $1 million of that,” the Peoria Journal Star said of the program a few years ago.

Minutes from a 2005 Illinois DNR Advisory Board meeting confirm that the $9 that is spent to raise each bird creates an operational loss and Illinois Office of Management and Budget spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said “raising pheasants at a financial loss, just so they can be killed” was a “not our top priorities” last year.

But the program dodged a legislative bullet and is alive and kicking, providing “recreation” to adults and children this fall and winter on public lands.

Illinois citizens may be without jobs, healthcare and sometimes homes but thanks to IDNR they have a steady stream of pheasants to shoot and are safe from carp attacks.

MARTHA ROSENBERG can be reached at: martharosenberg@sbcglobal.net

More articles by:

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

Weekend Edition
November 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jonathan Cook
From an Open Internet, Back to the Dark Ages
Linda Pentz Gunter
A Radioactive Plume That’s Clouded in Secrecy
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Fires This Time
Nick Alexandrov
Birth of a Nation
Vijay Prashad
Puerto Rico: Ruined Infrastructure and a Refugee Crisis
Peter Montague
Men in Power Abusing Women – What a Surprise!
Kristine Mattis
Slaves and Bulldozers, Plutocrats and Widgets
Pete Dolack
Climate Summit’s Solution to Global Warming: More Talking
Mike Whitney
ISIS Last Stand; End Times for the Caliphate
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Darkness, Part Two
James Munson
Does Censoring Undemocratic Voices Make For Better Democracy?
Brian Cloughley
The Influence of Israel on Britain
Jason Hickel
Averting the Apocalypse: Lessons From Costa Rica
Pepe Escobar
How Turkey, Iran, Russia and India are playing the New Silk Roads
Jan Oberg
Why is Google’s Eric Schmidt So Afraid?
Ezra Rosser
Pushing Back Against the Criminalization of Poverty
Kathy Kelly
The Quality of Mercy
Myles Hoenig
A Ray Moore Win Could be a Hidden Gift to Progressives
Gerry Brown
Myanmar Conflict: Geopolitical Food Chain
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: Robert Redford’s Big Game in Nairobi
Katrina Kozarek
Venezuela’s Communes: a Great Social Achievement
Zoltan Grossman
Olympia Train Blockade Again Hits the Achilles Heel of the Fracking Industry
Binoy Kampmark
History, Law and Ratko Mladić
Tommy Raskin
Why Must We Sanction Russia?
Bob Lord
Trump’s Tax Plan Will Cost a Lot More Than Advertised
Ralph Nader
National Democratic Party – Pole Vaulting Back into Place
Julian Vigo
If Sexual Harassment and Assault Were Treated Like Terrorism
Russell Mokhiber
Still Blowing Smoke for Big Tobacco: John Boehner and College Ethics
Louis Proyect
The Witchfinders
Ted Rall
Sexual Harassment and the End of Team Politics
Anna Meyer
Your Tax Dollars are Funding GMO Propaganda
Barbara Nimri Aziz
An Alleged Communist and Prostitute in Nepal’s Grade Ten Schoolbooks!
Myles Hoenig
A Ray Moore Win Could be a Hidden Gift to Progressives
Graham Peebles
What Price Humanity? Systemic Injustice, Human Suffering
Kim C. Domenico
To Not Walk Away: the Challenge of Compassion in the Neoliberal World
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Giving Thanks for Our Occupation of America?
Christy Rodgers
The First Thanksgiving
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “We Were Eight Years in Power”
David Yearsley
On the Road to Rochester, By Bike
November 23, 2017
Kenneth Surin
Discussing Trump Abroad
Jay Moore
The Failure of Reconstruction and Its Consequences
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Trout and Ethnic Cleansing
John W. Whitehead
Don’t Just Give Thanks, Pay It Forward One Act of Kindness at a Time
Chris Zinda
Zinke’s Reorganization of the BLM Will Continue Killing Babies
David Krieger
Progress Toward Nuclear Weapons Abolition
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail