Contact: Timothy Svoboda, (202) 225-2476
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah), along with Congressman Mark Pocan (D-Madison), this week introduced a bipartisan bill that would help keep Wisconsin’s lakes healthy by restricting the access of invasive species of fish. H.R. 7170 would amend the Federal Power Act to require that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would be required to consider the threats posed by invasive species before mandating a new fishway be built.
Fishways serve an important purpose of preserving and enhancing the populations of desirable, native fish by allowing them a way to travel around dams. However, invasive species use these same fishways to invade rivers and lakes and devastate native species and their habitats.
The state of Wisconsin is currently experiencing this problem. The Fish and Wildlife Service has ordered the installation of a fishway at the Prairie du Sac dam. Asian Carp, which is an invasive species that can grow nearly three feet in length, have been found at the base of this dam. Installing a fishway in this location would allow the Asian carp to migrate upstream to the Wisconsin River, Lake Wisconsin and eventually the Great Lakes. This would wreak havoc on native species and threaten the Great Lakes $7 billion fishing industry.
“Invasive species can have a devastating effect on the environment, public health and the economy. The damage they can cause only gets worse over time, which is why this legislation is becoming increasingly important to pass.” said Grothman. “H.R. 7170 will ensure that federal decision-makers consider all consequences before ordering the installation of fishways. I believe that we have to do a better job of making smart decisions to protect our environment.”