Dr. Rob Dillon, Coordinator

Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Black Carp Update

To the FWGNA group,

As many of you are aware, concern has been growing about the importation and spread of fertile Black Carp since 1999, when these large, specialized molluscivores were first stocked in Mississippi catfish farms. See our previous post on this subject, 11Jan2000.

In February 2000, The Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association (MICRA) petitioned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list Black Carp as "injurious" under the Lacey Act. That decision is still pending. But I thought I'd pass along a couple news tidbits that FMCS President Kevin Cummings recently posted Monday on the MOLLUSCA server.

First, I am alarmed to report that Jerry Rasmussen, who spearheaded the anti-Carp forces as chairman of MICRA, was removed last summer, and that MICRA's funding has been withdrawn by the USFWS. There's an informative article about this development recently published in "Fly Rod & Reel" magazine.

Second, there was a really nice news article entitled, "Will Black Carp Be the Next Zebra Mussel?" in the 13April issue of SCIENCE (v292:p203), with an accompanying editorial (v292:p169) comparing carp introduction to an infectious disease epidemic. Kevin Cummings was quoted prominently. Excellent report - congratulations to all involved.

Kevin suggests that we might wish to email the "Fly Rod & Reel" article to our congressmen, along with an appeal to re-instate Mr. Rasmussen. I don't suppose it would hurt!