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Got Carp Solutions? Crowdsourcing Challenge Under Way

Cash is now being offered to help keep carp out of the Great Lakes. (
Cash is now being offered to help keep carp out of the Great Lakes. (
August 9, 2017

LANSING, Mich. - As Asian carp make their way ever closer to the Great Lakes, state officials are going global and offering prize money in the search for a solution.

In the new "Invasive Carp Challenge," Gov. Rick Snyder is opening up the state coffers to anyone who can help prevent the movement of big-head, silver and black carp into the Great Lakes, with one or more solutions sharing up to $700,000. Online entries can be submitted through the end of October.

Tammy Newcomb, senior water policy adviser at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, said experts are working on the problem but creative thinkers can be found in every corner of Michigan and across the globe, "people who may not traditionally be in the area of fisheries, fishery science, fisheries management and having just a different way of looking at a problem. Sometimes, we can get clearer thinking by doing that."

Earlier this summer, an eight-pound silver carp was captured just nine miles from Lake Michigan. This week, the Army Corps of Engineers proposed $275 million in upgrades to defenses aimed at keeping the fish out of the Great Lakes.

If these fish become established in the lakes, Newcomb said, there is potential for problems that could cost the state billions of dollars.

"Looking at our port towns along the lake, and looking at our inland rivers and lakes where these fish could infest as well," she said, "the potential impact from this invasive species - not only on the fishery but also on our boating and recreation and tourism - we get very concerned about the effects on our local economy."

Aside from submitting ideas, she said, there are things people can do every day to prevent invasive carp from entering the Great Lakes, including checking bait carefully and reporting any fish that seem out of place to the DNR.

More information is online at

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI