More Asian carp poisoning ahead
Another round of Asian carp poisoning and sampling is ahead for the Chicago Area Waterway System.
That’s the latest news from the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC).
Sampling will be done along the North Shore Channel, where a three day sampling effort using electrofishing gear and commercial fishing nets will be used in an attempt to locate Asian carp. The operation will require the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to close a portion of the North Shore Channel starting on Tuesday, May 11 and will reopen the morning of Friday, May 14. The area targeted for sampling extends one-quarter mile south of Oakton Street—approximately five miles north to the Wilmette Pumping Station.
Rotenone poison will also be used for sampling upstream of the electric barriers near the O’Brien Lock and Dam to determine whether Asian carp might exist in that location where positive eDNA samples have been taken. Previous sampling efforts have not yielded any Asian carp from the area despite positive hits of Asian carp eDNA.
“This sampling plan will provide us with important data needed to make future decisions,” said John Rogner, Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “Keeping Asian carp from establishing a population in Lake Michigan remains our ultimate goal and we think this new monitoring plan will help us achieve our objectives.”
The planned application and subsequent fish recovery will begin with waterway closure on Thursday, May 20 and last five to six days. The application will take place on the Little Calumet River approximately one mile downstream of T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam, east of the I-94 overpass, and will cover a stretch of two miles downstream of the starting location. The waterway will be treated in one day, and the recovery phase of the operation will last between four to five days. During that time, the FWS, IDNR, and other participating agencies will aim to recover as many fish in the application area as possible to determine the abundance and type of fish present in the treated area.
During the application and recovery phases, the USCG will implement a safety zone to protect waterway users and workers conducting sampling operations in the vicinity of the O’Brien Lock. Access to the canal will be restricted for a period of five to seven days, meaning that boaters will not be able to transit the safety zone until sampling operations are completed and the safety zone is rescinded by the U.S. Coast Guard.
“These new monitoring efforts will help us make the most strategic decisions for keeping Asian carp from becoming established in the Great Lakes,” said Charlie Wooley, Deputy Regional Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). “The new monitoring plan will provide the quantitative information necessary to determine the most successful control methods for Asian carp, if they are present in the area.”