When the French explorer Père Marquette traveled down the Illinois River in 1673, his journal tells of encounters with “monstrous fish” so large they nearly overturned his canoe.
In all likelihood the fish Marquette was talking about were channel catfish, but nearly 340 years later fisherman Josh Havens says it’s bighead carp... and silver carp which now harass boaters on the Illinois (silver carp are the jumpers).
The issue of keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes has implications for a variety of industries. Midwest officials are weighing a range of options, including severing the connection between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes basins. This last option comes with a list of potential economic implications for the shipping and manufacturing industry.
For instance, the 70-mile stretch of Mississippi River at St. Louis is one of the busiest inland ports in America—a place where grain, aggregate and steel are loaded and shipped up and down the river.