Illinois Outdoors at
RulesIllinois Outdoors at
Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

Illinois Outdoors


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Carp barrier, poisoning a boondoggle?

December 03, 2009 at 07:47 AM

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has already spent millions on an electric fish barrier that may or may not work.

Now another reported $2 million is being spent to poison the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

All that money is being poured out in an effort to keep Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes—something these voracious fish have probably already done.

No wonder Chicago Sun-Times columnist Dale Bowman is calling the barrier, “a shocking boondoggle.”

Writes Bowman:

The establishment of an electrical fish barrier on the Sanitary and Ship Canal is easily the single greatest boondoggle in the Chicago outdoors, now costing well over $10 million.

Click here to read Bowman’s full column on this subject.

To me the whole thing is kind of a slap in the face for the rest of the state. In no other place would so much money be spent to prevent the spread of fish or other critters. No similar effort has ever been made to stop invasive species from leaving the Great Lakes and coming downstate. And don’t tell me the barrier effectively serves the same purpose. The intent was to stop Asian carp, not to stop other species from moving downstream.

UPDATE: I had a different last line here when this was posted this morning. Then I got a can of Diet Mountain Dew and felt less grouchy. So I pulled it. In truth, this is a Great Lakes issue. But I still believe it’s a waste of money. Why not spend the $12 million on finding a way to deal with Asian carp? Why not set up processing plants? They are going to get into the Great Lakes.




Your CommentsComments :: Guidelines :: Report a problem

I agree with you 100% boondoggle from the get go,  Anything is only a problem in this state if it affects Chicago, and if it doesn’t, well who cares right? I would re-post your original ending because some people in the DNR need to hear some angry downstate voices.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/03 at 11:01 AM

Look on the bright side Jeff. Chicago did not get the Olympics. Once can only guess how much money would be wasted on back door no bid deals so the Chicago elite could grow exponentially richer while the rest of the state was on the hook for it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/03 at 01:21 PM

Man thought he was smart enough to control them when they were stocked into the fish farm ponds.

And now man thinks he is smart enough to stop them from spreading further.

If I was betting my money would sure go on the carp.

Posted by illin on 12/03 at 01:30 PM

Jeff buddy, we all need to try thinking positively. It’s for the benefit of our morale.

Posted by Andrew Ragas on 12/03 at 01:58 PM

I agree Jeff, what did they do to stop the spread of these fish into other rivers?  I have a great time shooting them but for the people whom use the Illinois river as a playground for boating and jet skiing it has turned into a disaster.  Its down right dangerous.  I no longer take my kids out due to this fact.  I have been told that no matter what they do they are going to reach the Great Lakes.  Thank the commercial catfish farms for this mess and then send them the bill.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/03 at 05:25 PM

Good point, Jeff. The $2M spent on this effort is just a drop in the bucket compared to the potential damage the species could cause to the LM fishing industry. I wish efforts on this scale were done sooner to prevent the fish from entering the Illinois River and all the others…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/04 at 06:44 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Next entry: Open Blog Thursday 12-3-09

Previous entry: Wild Things 11-29-09

Lampe's Top 10 Links

Hunting Links

Fishing Links

Birdwatching Links

Other Outdoors Links

Fun stuff

Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons