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In 2014 will Asian carp bug golfers in Chicago?

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Asian carp (cyprinid fish) will certainly not bug Chicagoan golfers this February, and probably not this March. Waterways have ice covers through which these fish cannot jump. When and where will Asian carp bug Chicago’s golfers?

Usually ice will melt sufficiently in late April. April showers may bring May flowers and Asian carp. (I have not conducted surveys to determine if female golfers named April like to eat Asian carp.)

Evanston-Wilmette Golf Course, Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course and South Shore Golf Course are near enough to waterways that may have Asian carp. Evanston-Wilmette Golf Course has the Chicago Sanitation Canal. South Shore Golf Course and Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course both have Lake Michigan.

At Evanston-Wilmette Golf Course, the seventh hole and the 14th hole extend across the Chicago Sanitation Canal. Both of these holes are par three. At the seventh hole, the teeing grounds are at least 10 feet higher than the canal’s surface. On the short fairway near this hole’s putting green, the canal’s surface is only about 2 feet lower than the fairway’s surface, and approximately 20 feet from the fairway. It is possible that golf ball splashes into the canal from golfers on the teeing ground could disturb swimming Asian carp enough for them to leap out of the canal and onto golfers on the fairway. (Golf courtesy requires that golfers on teeing grounds wait until golfers ahead of them are out of range before hitting.) Asian carp interference is more unlikely on the 14th hole because the near bank is steeper and the canal is narrower.

Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course’s, fifth hole is near Lake Michigan; only about 30 feet separate the teeing grounds from the lake. In these 30 feet there is a short, concrete wall, a walking path and huge boulders. It is conceivable that strong, westward blowing winds could blow leaping Asian carp 30 feet onto the teeing grounds and onto golfers.

South Shore Golf Course’s, sixth hole putting green and seventh hole’s teeing grounds are approximately 20-30 feet from Lake Michigan. Again, strong, westward winds could blow leaping carp over boulders and onto golfers. This is more unlikely at the seventh hole’s teeing grounds since it is at least 10 feet higher than the lake’s surface when the lake surface is calm.

This 2014 winter may produce strange, migration patterns with Asian carp. Asian carp may come to Chicago’s golfers not to be food, but looking for food. These fish may grab Chicago Style hot dogs from golfers’ hands.


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