Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Michigan to Offer Prize in Fight against Invasive Asian Carp

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Michigan to Offer Prize in Fight against Invasive Asian Carp

Article excerpt

LANSING, Mich. * Faced with the threat that Asian carp could enter the Great Lakes, Michigan is turning to the public for new ideas, and plans to offer a prize to whomever comes up with a way to stop the voracious fish.

Michigan's global search challenge comes after the U.S. government and others have spent countless hours and money searching for a solution to stop the carp from entering the world's largest freshwater system. If the aggressive fish aren't stopped, officials fear they will crowd out prize native fish and hamper recreational boating in large sections of the lakes, which stretch from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in the west to New York and Pennsylvania in the east and from Ontario, Canada, in the north to Illinois, Indiana and Ohio in the south.

"I think in the fight against Asian carp, there aren't really any bad ideas," said Molly Flanagan, vice president of policy for the Alliance for the Great Lakes. "We have to try a bunch of different things."

Michigan alone has a $38 billion tourism industry, much of it focused on the outdoors, and the Great Lakes region has a $7 billion fishing industry. Asian carp have been spotted 45 miles from Lake Michigan. If the fish make it into that lake, they could make their way into the other Great Lakes.

Details on how much prize money will be offered are still being worked out. Officials also haven't determined how many winners might be chosen.

The Michigan Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder allocated $1 million to develop the challenge. Most of the money will go toward a prize for an idea or ideas that are deemed feasible, Michigan Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Joanne Foreman said. The rest will be used to create the challenge, which includes working with InnoCentive, a crowdsourcing company that will host the event online. The campaign is expected to go live this summer.

"Somebody out there possibly could have a really good idea," Foreman said. "Maybe they're not in fisheries or hydro-engineering."

Asian carp were imported to the U. …

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