Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fish fight


View Lost Peninsula, Michigan in a larger map
The Buckeyes and Wolverines have hated each other for a while. I just finished reading a book called "The Toledo War" that chronicles the border dispute between the states in the mid-1830s. The dispute was mostly resolved when Ohio was given Toledo--and the pivotal Maumee River port and basin--and Michigan was given the consolation prize of most of the Upper Peninsula. Michigan and Ohio also squabbled over the Lost Peninsula, which extends north from Ohio into Lake Erie. Michigan wound up with part of the peninsula, even though it's only accessible by driving through Ohio.

Now, Midwestern states are fighting again. Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio have sued Illinois, reviving the century-old dispute over the reversal of the Chicago River. The other states want the Land of Lincoln to close the locks to Lake Michigan and take steps to mitigate flooding of the Des Plaines River and the Sanitary and Ship Canal. Why? Because of the Asian carp's inexorable flow north from the Mississippi River Valley. Still, it's interesting that the Land of 10,000 Lakes is involved. The carp already resides in the state's Mississippi River waters. And some reports suggest the carp can't survive in the cold of Lake Superior, Minnie's only Great Lakes shoreline.