Separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi river basins

Another externality from Dam control and diversions. Inter basin water transfers and foreign biota and invasive species. Excerpt from ‘Dire’ USGS REPORT:


“If Asian carp spread into the Great Lakes, knowing where to expect them to spawn is a critical step in controlling these invasive species,” said USGS scientist Elizabeth Murphy. “Our study combines the biology of Asian carp early life stages with the physics of rivers to identify potential spawning tributaries, thus giving managers an opportunity to develop targeted control strategies.”

The researchers studied four tributaries for their report: the Milwaukee and St. Joesph Rivers leading to Lake Michigan, and the Maumee and Sandusky Rivers that connect Lake Erie. Scientists have long believed that although adult carp prefer calm waters, carp eggs must be carried along fast currents or else they sink and die. However, it is now found that the river does not necessarily have to be lengthy for the eggs to survive. Given the right temperatures and water-quality characteristics, even short rivers will do. All four tributaries in the study proved sufficient for carp to spawn. This discovery, according to the report, “would expand the number of possible tributaries suitable for Asian carp spawning.”

Scientists also found that dams can be instrumental in creating “settling zones” where the Asian carp eggs collect and sink. Unfortunately, the settling zones caused by dams or natural features in the studied tributaries were not enough to stop the development of Asian carp young, which only required a relatively short distance before they hatched.

The Council of Great Lakes Governors met again for the first time since 2005 earlier this month to discuss the future of invasive species in the region, foremost being the siege laid against the lakes by Asian carp. According to Fox News, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn supported a national project to separate the Great Lakes and Mississippi river systems.

“Ultimately, I think we have to separate the basins,” Quinn said at the meeting. “I really feel that is the ultimate solution.”

Mississippi River stays in check, for now : News

The mighty Mississippi reeks havoc on barges and river commerce comes to standstill. One death reported. Bottomline, sand bags holding back floodwaters and other measures mediate river crest. Here is a smattering of newspaper excerpts about the cresting and its effects on local communities and actions taken by local officials from St Louis Post Dispatch and St Louis Today:

“Mississippi River stays in check, for now.
AmeriCorps volunteers and Missouri National Guardsmen from the 2175th Military Police unit from Hannibal continue to shore up the temporary flood walls along South First and Washington streets in Clarksville on Sunday, April 21, 2013, as the Mississippi River continued to slowly rise. By Tim Logan 314-340-82913…

River towns prepare for rising Mississippi as victims of flash floods clean up…

Rains brought fast-rising water in Jefferson County, Metro East, but slowly rising Mississippi River also looms….

Nixon declares flood emergency, activates Guard. Nixon issued his emergency declaration Friday after strong storms earlier in the week led to flooding…..

Downpours swamp homes in St. Louis metro area, Mississippi River building toward major flood

One woman, died in the flooding, De Soto police said….

The big river didn’t get too big. At least for now. Sandbags held back the cresting Mississippi River from several towns north of St. Louis on Sunday, while the forecast for the immediate vicinity remained high but manageable.

The Pike County hamlet of Clarksville, Mo., where volunteers, National Guard troops and even a few dozen prisoners had spent the last few days stacking sandbags to protect the historic downtown, remained dry, city officials said. And the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lowered its forecast for Clarksville and other northern Missouri towns, suggesting water won’t get any higher.

“It’s going really good today,” said City Clerk Jennifer Calvin. “Everything’s kind of at a standstill, and holding at that level. Now it’s more of a monitoring situation.”

Closer to St. Louis, some roads remained closed and sand-bagging efforts continued in low-lying areas, but the biggest action was on the river itself.

More than 100 barges broke loose of their moorings in south St. Louis County about 10:30 p.m. Four of them hit the Jefferson Barracks Bridge, prompting the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri Highway Patrol to shut down all but one lane in each direction while crews inspected it for safety. Nine barges full of coal sank, according to the Coast Guard, though most of the rest had been retrieved by Sunday afternoon.

By late Sunday afternoon, all lanes of traffic had been reopened.”