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Published: Monday, 3/11/2013

Lake Erie expert Sandy Bihn to speak at Way Library

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

With the Walleye spawning season in the Maumee River right around the corner, Sandy Bihn is making public appearances to  advocate for clean waterways.

Mrs. Bihn, resident and city council member of Oregon, will be speaking at Way Public Library in Perrysburg at 7 p.m. March 19 in the lower level, open to the public for free.

"Whenever you think about clean water, you think about Sandy Bihn," said Nancy Kelley, a volunteer programmer at the library where she formerly was director. . [Mrs. Bihn]  is a very good speaker. She doesn't speak in academic terms, but tells you like it is. I hope she brings light on this situation."

Mrs. Bihn,  of the Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper Association who also helps gather information and discusses problems with a Detroit wastewater plant, is concerned about the cleanliness of water. In her speeches, she talks about how runoff and sediments are flushing into the water from the land which is not good for the water.

That, along with some of the lowest water levels recorded in the Great Lakes, is causing problems that Sandy outlines in her talks the runoff, she said.

"These extreme weather events like raining for three straight days, or high winds, and tornadoes all play into sediments coming in the water from the land," Mrs. Bihn said.

She also is trying to education people about another concern: the possibility of Asian carp getting into area waterways.

Asian carp  are coming up the Mississippi River and she is concerned they may be trying to make it through the Maumee River and into Lake Erie. Mrs. Bihn said she does not think they are in the Maumee River, but  she is concerned the fish can make it through the Chicago River and Eagles Marsh in Fort Wayne after heavy rain and then into the Maumee River.

"They would eat the walleye and out-populate the area," Mrs. Bihn said. "They could take away the sport fish here and we don't want that. They can also fly above water and hit boaters."  Some boaters on the Mississippi River wear helmets because the Asian carp can fly up in the air and hit boaters.

In July, scientists in the Life Science Center on the Notre Dame campus found Asian carp DNA in Lake Erie. 

Mrs. Bihn said that boaters on the Mississippi River wear helmets because the Asian carp can fly up in the air and hit boaters.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com or 419-356-8786 or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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