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Asian carp found in isolated Chicago lagoon

May 25, 2012 at 08:34 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois fisheries biologists netted two Asian carp in a Chicago lagoon Thursday as part of a stepped-up effort to track and remove the invasive species from Illinois waterways.

The bighead carp found in the Garfield Park Lagoon were about 60 pounds each and probably had been there for many years, perhaps brought there when the pond was stocked or by a fisherman’s bait bucket, state Department of Natural Resources spokesman Chris McCloud said.

The lagoon is not connected to Lake Michigan or canals that connect the lake to the Illinois River, and the fish couldn’t have gotten out on their own and could not breed in the still water, McCloud said. But the DNR wants to find and remove any live bighead or silver carp in the Chicago area.

“From public fishing ponds to fish markets, we need to find and remove live Asian carp from these systems in order to minimize their spread,” said John Rogner, assistant DNR director.

The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee plans to spend $12 million this year on efforts to stop the voracious eaters from reaching Lake Michigan, where scientists fear they could out-compete native fish for food and wreak havoc on the Great Lakes fishing industry. Plans include sampling urban fishing ponds, surveying fish markets for live fish and random electrofishing and netting along a network of canals that connect Lake Michigan to the Illinois River.

McCloud said the DNR will visit bait shops and fish markets to make sure there are no live carp, and will sample around 20 lagoons. He said anyone who nets an Asian carp should get it out of the water and make sure it’s dead. He also asks that they take a photo of the fish and call the DNR.

The management plan for Asian carp also includes evaluating the effectiveness of electronic barriers in Chicago-area canals that hold the fish at bay with nonlethal jolts and other technologies that could repel them. Biologists also will monitor the canals and the Illinois and Des Plaines rivers and test for carp DNA.

Earlier this month the Obama administration promised to speed up its search for a way to stop Asian carp and other invasive species from using those waterways to travel between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it would release a short list of options by the end of next year.

Environmental activists and many elected officials say the only certain solution is physically separating the two giant drainage basins by placing dams or other structures at key points in Chicago-area waterways that form a direct link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi. That method is sought in a federal lawsuit filed by Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Is it just me or is this a true example of to little to late. No one and I do mean no one cared to spend one dime when these fish were destroying the mississippi river here were I live, all of our water sports fishing boating sking tubing ect are forever done. The powers that be never learn from history. Thank you for letting me vent.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/27 at 03:02 PM

I agree, no big deal when these fish are exploding in the lower Illinos River.  Now that they might mess up something on the great lakes its suddenly a crisis?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/29 at 03:22 PM

Hundreds of damaging, invasive species have come into the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence seaway, many making their way down to the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.  Now, we have two damaging, invasive species moving up the Illinois, toward Chicago and the Great Lakes and suddenly it’s a crisis of epic proportions. 
I’d love to see the connection between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River.  I just wonder where all these people who are so outraged have been for the past 60+ years.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/31 at 12:42 PM

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