(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) and Congressman Mark Pocan (D-Madison) today introduced a bipartisan bill that will help keep Wisconsin’s lakes healthy by restricting the access of invasive species of fish.
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.
“Invasive species can have a devastating effect on the environment 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. “This bill 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 conserve and protect our environment.”
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.
The bipartisan legislation introduced today will amend the Federal Power Act to require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider the threats posed by invasive species before mandating a new fishway be built.