Some are suggesting that Asian Carp could have a significant impact well inland from the Great Lakes.
According to Lance Weyeneth, a real estate broker specializing in waterfront properties, many people purchase properties along northern Michigan’s lakes and rivers because of the area’s numerous fishing opportunities.
He says if Asian Carp make it to the Great Lakes, they will almost certainly enter the state’s rivers too. And that could affect property values.
“There’s no doubt that the value of the area would be perceived differently if we were talking about Asian Carp, and not wild brown trout or Brook Trout or Steelhead,” said Weyeneth.
It isn’t just fishing opportunities that are in danger, said Weyeneth. So too are people’s jobs, and thier way of life.
“As ridiculous as this might sound, it’s about more than just our livelihood,” said Weyeneth. “It’s about more than just our money. It’s about a lifestyle, and it’s about a quality outdoor experience.”
Many of Weyeneth’s customers come from out of state, and look at northern Michigan solely for it’s outdoor opportunities, including fishing.
“Our customers won’t necessarily be coming north, or to Michigan, to pursue one of the four species of Asian Carp that are currently at the doorstep of invading Lake Michigan,” he said. “I just don’t see that happening.”
Weyeneth wants the government to close a shipping canal in Chicago that is providing the carp a route to the Great Lakes.
Otherwise, he believes the carp will almost certainly enter the Great Lakes, and Michigan’s pristine trout streams.
“To look at how quickly they’ve moved throughout the Mississippi River basin,” said Weyeneth, “and to imagine that they could move almost unimpeded to the Great Lakes, and eventually into these rivers that we find here in the headwaters region that feed the Great Lakes, it’s unimaginable, quite frankly.”