In his State of the State address last month, Gov. Snyder offered a million bucks (really) to whoever comes up with the best idea to stop the dreaded Asian carp that are headed for the Great Lakes via Chicago’s waterways.
Once they make it – gulp, gulp, gulp – there goes the $7 billion sport fishing industry, according to the experts.
That would be terrible, of course. And I could use a million dollars, so here goes:
1) Create an ad campaign in Chicago that convinces kids all over the Windy City that Asian carp are perfect for aquariums. Parents will hate it because aquariums are filthy and the kids never feed the fish like they say they will. I speak from experience. But it’s a small price to pay in the end. The only problem is I’m not sure Asian carp are small enough to flush down the toilet after they go belly up.
2) Grizzlies. I saw a nature show the other day where a family of bears was in a stream swatting salmon out of the air like soap bubbles. Stick a bunch of grizzlies at the mouth of whatever river empties into Lake Michigan and problem solved. Grizzlies eat people, too, of course, which could be a problem in a densely populated city like Chicago. But the bears will probably be too full to bother. Probably.
3) Chicago has some great restaurants, right? Ask the city’s best chefs – as a public service – to create dishes to die for out of Asian carp. Food snobs will consume the entire population in weeks. (Hey, eating carp isn’t any grosser than eating snails.)
4) Convince McDonald’s they can get 10 Asian carp fillets for what it costs them for one of whatever fish they make their fish sandwich out of. They’ll empty the rivers. And customers either won’t know or won’t mind. You put enough tartar sauce on it, it all tastes the same.
5) Capture one Asian carp, tag it with a tiny microchip then have a contest like Willy Wonka’s golden ticket campaign. You catch the fish, you win a million bucks. Boom. Problem solved.
6) I know, I know, on that last one you’re thinking, “But what if the golden fish gets caught the first day or something?” Easy. You keep the fish safe in a secret aquarium somewhere for a year or so without telling anyone. It’s unethical, yes, but, y’know, morals, schmorals. We have an ecosystem to protect. (I’m fairly sure the PowerBall folks do kinda the same thing on occasion, by the way. That’s why you get those trillion dollar pots from time to time.)
7) Or here’s an idea. Since the Great Lakes are a precious, irreplaceable resource, maybe we, as good and civilized people, do two things: A) Elect people to high office, at the state and national levels, who will vote to use public resources to protect one of the true wonders of the world, and B) Throw out the bums who won’t.
Nah, you’re right. Too crazy. Let’s go with the grizzlies instead.
Image credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters