Nature's response to the Asian carp invasion

About half-million Asian carp found dead in Kentucky's Cumberland River

While environmentalists are fretting about Asian carp invading Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes, Mother Nature has dealt the fish a bad hand. Hundreds of thousands--perhaps a half million--died in 24 hours in a massive fish kill that now is being investigated by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Because only Asian carp have been spotted among the dead, some experts are suggesting that a bug that singles out the species is responsible. Reports key forward.com:

“Whenever there is one species of fish, you are definitely thinking viral or bacterial,” said Paul Rister, western fisheries district biologist with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “It’s not anything water quality wise. If it was oxygen-related or chemical related you would see other species. Primarily what we are seeing below Barkley Dam is all Asian carp.”

...

“There are still some jumping in the turbulence of the water right below the dam and there are some that are swimming right under the water surface,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of those and they appear to have fungal infections on their back, which is a secondary infection of some other type of stressor.”

The bottom-feeding carp are considered to be a huge threat to the Great Lakes because, according to environmentalists, they have "no natural predators."

Then again, maybe not.

What was America's greatest come-from-behind war? Go here to find out.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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