Fish, Fisheries and Queryomics
“Michigan voters know a lot about Asian carp and 93% of those in a new poll said they are somewhat or very concerned about the fish getting into Lake Michigan, according to a new poll released today,” the Detroit Free Press reports.
The costs for various proposals to hault the spread of Asian carp range from $3.2 to $9.5 billon dollars. Nearly half of those polled believe the federal government should pay to solve the problem, rather than leaving the cost to the states that border the lakes. In contrast, 37% of those polled believe the states should pay.
For perspective, Beel presents results of a Google Insights for Search analysis of Asian carp. The relative volume of searches generally is low, but with several obvious peaks. These peaks typically follow news releases or television news reports about Asian carp. In the past couple of years, search volume has increased as with the news that Asian carp might reach the Great Lakes. Of course, the Asian carp have arrived.
Looking at the geographic pattern of searches (below), Beel finds that Michigan does produce the greatest relative volume of searches. It appears that Michigan residents are interested in obtaining information about Asian carp and, hence, are likely to be knowledgeable about them, as suggested in the Detroit Free Press article referenced above. Beel likes finding concordance between Google Insights for Search analyses and other information!
Electric barriers designed to keep Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes from the Illinois River failed to keep the carp out- as any knowledgeable fish biologist knew they would. Now the Asian carp pose a threat to the health of the Great Lakes fisheries.
There is interest in building additional electric barriers. How fun, says Beel. After all, they have worked so well in the past: Minnesota Representative Tom Hackbarth believes the spread of Asian carp in Minnesota waters can be halted using electric barriers according to a report in the Elk River, MN, Star News. Hackbarth is supported by Geoffrey Griffin of G-Cubed, an engineering firm that wants to build the barriers: “They’re (Asian carp) not going to get through my barriers.” Beel says, what arrogance.
Beel believes stronger measures may be needed to limit further spread of Asian carp. Perhaps game wardens could be authorized to examine the papers of any carp found in the Great Lakes, without need for probable cause. Carps found without proper credentials could then be removed. Beel notes that Arizona has a similar program, though not for fish. That program is unpopular and is ineffective. Sounds like a plan!