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Illinois hunting and fishing

A catfish breaches the waters surface in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 in Lockport, Ill., after a toxic chemical was dumped on a nearly 6-mile stretch of the canal as part of state and federal efforts to keep the voracious and invasive carp from reaching the Great Lakes. Crews will be patroling in search of the Asian carp for the next few days. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Single Asian carp found in poison zone

December 03, 2009 at 07:29 PM

Associated Press Writer

LOCKPORT, Ill. (AP) - Wildlife officials discovered a single Asian carp Thursday in a canal leading to Lake Michigan, the nearest the destructive species has come to the Great Lakes, Illinois environmental officials said.

Environmentalists fear that if the silver or bighead species of giant Asian carp reach the lakes they could starve out native fish species and devastate a $7 billion-a-year fishing industry.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials found the 22-inch immature specimen among tens of thousands of dead fish identified in a fish kill operation in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, about 40 miles from Lake Michigan, said John Rogner, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“Asian carp are indeed knocking on the door of the Great Lakes,” Rogner said “This is the closest to Lake Michigan that an actual Asian carp body has been found.”

Ten of thousands of other species of fish, from gizzard shad t o drum, floated to the surface of the waterway Thursday after authorities dumped more than 2,000 gallons of toxins into a nearly six-mile stretch of the waterway the evening before.

The toxins were dumped while an electrical barrier normally used to prevent any Asian carp from the Great Lakes was turned off for maintenance. The kill operation - which will require the removal of an estimated 200,000 pounds of dead fish to a landfill - began Wednesday and was expected to last until Saturday.

The Asian carp - which can grow to 4 feet - were imported by Southern fish farms but escaped into the Mississippi River in large numbers during flooding in the 1990s and have been making their way northward ever since. No Asian carp have yet been found in Lake Michigan.

Concern about the silver or bighead species of Asian carp led to calls even before Thursday to close the waterway connecting the lakes to the Mississippi - an unprecedented step that could disrupt the move ment of millions of tons of coal, grain and other goods.

The electrical barrier, installed in 2002 to repel fish with non-lethal jolts, had been thought to be the only thing standing between the carp and Lake Michigan. Officials said two weeks ago that DNA from Asian carp had been found between the barrier and a lock near the lake.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and five environmental groups have threatened to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to force it to temporarily shut three shipping locks near Chicago because of evidence the Asian carp may have breached the electrical barrier. The agency has said it would consider all options but would not close the locks without first studying the possible effects.


Associated Press Writers Michael Tarm and Tammy Webber in Chicago, and in Ken Thomas in Washington also contributed to this report.

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

According to NBC News Chicago, ZERO Carp have yet to show themselves among the floaters.

This makes me wonder a little about what exactly we are trying to accomplish here. At least precautions are being made, but I think it’s the wrong kind.

Posted by Andrew Ragas on 12/03 at 01:53 PM

It’s about trying to keep Asian Carp from entering the Big Lake dummy.  They must fix the electronic barrier(which was designed to keep the carp out of the Big lake), and DON’T WANT TO RISK the infiltration of the INVASIVE species.  You think Rotentone or whatever it’s called is the wrong kind of method but offer no better method.  I, for one, am happy that they used it, and happy they haven’t found any carp YET.  Maybe the fish could sense danger and got out of dodge for the time being. 
But you would rather RISK letting them live to swim past the barrier while fixing it????????????????????

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/03 at 05:06 PM

How is it a good sign not a single carp has been found yet?? I realize what they meant by good sign, but you mean they just killed off what an estimated 200,000 fish, and spent 2-3 million on this fiasco?? And not a single damn Asian carp is to be found. This ranks right up there with our deer management program.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/03 at 05:07 PM

To members of my fan club (above), you all must have the same level of intelligence as our state officials do.

It’s good that Zero Carp have been found.

But to piss away close to $2 million dollars within a 24 hour period only to find nothing and in the same period, you wipe out a 6-mile zone of water.

It’s a waste of money, and it’s a wasted effort.

And if you find nothing, why do we wait forever just to get the electrical barrier maintained just now?

Like your irresponsible and poor-taste postings above, where is the logic in that?

As for the TV thing, I just got hired to work for a Fishing TV show on Comcast Sports Net. You get what you wish for. Look who’s talking now. smile

Posted by Andrew Ragas on 12/03 at 06:19 PM

Do all dead fish float?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/03 at 06:24 PM

Good point sniper. In this case, zero is a good number…. but it doesn’t mean much….

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/03 at 07:11 PM

typical dnr crap.  If you listen to them… there is a fish thats about to take over all their water sources and their main game animal is over populated.  ANd they feel they are doing a good job?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/03 at 07:31 PM

oh and by the way…. Their solution to every problem with animals is ” lets just start killing stuff as fast as we can”.  I love that.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/03 at 07:32 PM

So when the poison makes it’s way into your drinking water…..what then?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/03 at 08:15 PM



Least of all, Andrew Ragas.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/03 at 09:01 PM

Ragas you are a fool.  The invasive asian carp could completely decimate commercial fishing on Lake Michigan, a 7 billion dollar industry.  What do you effing mean wait forever to fix the barrier?  Regardless it has to be shut off to work on, so what is your point?  This is a sacrifice for the greater good, and state paid marine biologists recommended this treatment.  But you know more because you write a lame blog for this website at a 3rd grade English level? And who mentioned a TV show you tool?  Please tell us when you will be on TV so we can boycott he sponsors!  Ignoramus!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/04 at 01:30 AM

1 :  Ever heard of the phrase “Better safe than sorry?”

2 :  Hmm…. spending $2 million to prevent the loss of 7 BILLION dollars ANNUALLY… sounds like money well spent to protect an investment!!

3 :  Compared to some of the waste that makes its way into the canal, I think Retonene is the least of our concerns!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/04 at 09:22 AM

My question is!!!!  Why aren’t the idots that brought these damn fish here being charged for all the problems they have caused?  Shouldn’t they be liable for all the cost incured associated with these fish?  They are the ones that caused this whole mess in the first place.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/04 at 09:39 AM

Rotenone thats the it’s not harmful to humans and animals trick. Thats what the chemical companies motto is. Didn’t you know that Jeff. But what ever it takes to keep them out of the great lakes so be it. Anyone that thinks it’s not a problem should take a little boat ride down the Il. river sometime. So what they are trying it’s like everything else trail and error I just wish them good luck what ever they try.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/04 at 09:59 AM

Yeah, Rotenone’s chemical properties come from naturally occurring tree roots from South America. Native tribes used to use it to catch fish. It is mildly toxic to humans and all mammals (accute effects), but because it has such a short life span (degrading in less than 6 days), there won’t be any impacts to the drinking water. No worries there.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/04 at 01:22 PM

other than carp,catfish, and gizzard shad, i wonder what else floated to the top?....any geusses….this otta be good!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/04 at 03:12 PM

Who cares how much it cost 2 mill thats chump change compared to the money obama has wasted on this bailout. You all complain now that there was no asion carp found but what if there was and they didnt use Rotenone you would be complaining that they didnt do enought to keep asian carp out of the great lakes. Has anyone tried to go down the illinois river lately its like doging tennis balls its crazy and dangerous because of those damn asian carp need to poison the whole river to get rid of all the asian carp.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/04 at 04:14 PM

Ragas no one cares. What we do care about is the problem at hand! Asian Carp account for 90% of the biomass in the waters they occupy. Peoples livelihoods are at stake here.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/04 at 06:46 PM

Has anybody gotten the bill ready for the morons that brought these fish into clean up their commercial catfish operations?  Did they ever think the worse and what record floods could do to thier operation and its impact on our rivers and lakes.  Does anyone know if they ever paid any type of fine?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/04 at 10:23 PM

...and what does Dr. Ragas “At least precautions are being made, but I think it?s the wrong kind.” suggest is the “right kind”?
“Look who’s talking now”
Well, that’s a problem when the content is nothing more than a steady whine, with zero solutions offered.
I’d be interested in hearing his scientific theories on how to prevent these invasives from reaching Lake Michigan….
I’m only responding to that statement because so many are quick to offer their opinions on what WAS done here, but nobody can tell us what should be done to stop them.

Posted by Mike Clifford on 12/05 at 04:21 PM

How is it that you pump poisons into a waterweay to kill Grass Carp and you wind up killing off everthing else. Hasn’t your state incurred enough fish kills due to other chemical spills, Ethanol in the Rock River ? Have you people not learned anything about chemical poisoning ? Did your Great state every hold anyone accountable for that ? Who ? and how much money in restoration fees, fines and replacement of fish species that were killed did your great State get ? And how much did it spend on replacing Catfish and other non gamefish ? 5%, 10%, 0%. Or did your DNR just poket it? I’m really curious to what is planned for restocking and re-education for poisoning your waterways ?

Posted by Catfishwidowmakr on 12/06 at 02:42 PM

I live near Morris and the Carp have taken over the Material Service pit there. Was some of the best fishing in the state for crappie and now you can’t find one in there.  They suck bad but what do you do? Kill all the fish or let them do it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/06 at 03:43 PM

catfishwidowmaker, get your facts straight.  The Rock river happened to be the railroads fault not the IDNR.  IDNR was called in to do miracle work when the Illinois EPA dropped the ball on the spill.  BTW, the aren’t trying to kill grass carp they are the invasive asian species that have ruined the Illinois river.  Pocket money, even in this situation that didn’t happen and yes the restocking was done. I talked to a fisheries biologist that shocked the Rock River and they still shocked plenty of big cats so next time try and get your facts straight.  We just don’t throw poison around like its candy.  Go read up on Rotenone to. Thats the chemical they used.  Maybe then you can state some true logical facts.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/06 at 05:47 PM

So only one carp surfaced…...GOOD! My question is: How many carp have to make it into the Great Lakes for the problem to begin???? Probably not very many!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/07 at 08:59 AM

It is my understanding that the carp have already reached lake Michigan and it is also my understanding that due to water temps alot of the fish sank to the bottom after they got a drink of toxic water. There is no stopping these fish.  Thank the commercial catfish farmers for ruining several ecosystems.  Hope they are happy.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/07 at 10:14 PM

I have a few comments, but I’m not looking to beat a dead horse here.  Yes, almost three million dollars was spent on this operation.  Yes only one specimen of the Asian carp was found, but that does not me it was the only one there.

Cold water conditions will often cause dead fish to stay underwater, and many times, they’ll never surface, and will stay deep the waters they inhabit, often decaying before ever seeing the light of day again.

Secondly, for those of you concerned about Rotenone “killing all the sport fish,” rest easy, only a small number of game fish (namely catfish, a few saguer, and walleye) were actually killed by the Rotenone, with the majority of the fishing being common carp.  In fact, my fisheries biologist contact said that it was 90% common carp that was being killed off.

Now you could go into a whole “conspiracy theory,” and say that my contact is “lying to me to keep the DNR’s reputation safe,” but I know the guy and he’s an honest and good person.

I understand that everyone is displeased with the amount of money spent on this operation, but if you look at the long term affects the Asian carp could have had, its well worth it. 

They could have decimated the 7 billion dollar fishing industry on the Great Lakes.  And if the state of Michigan does pursue a lawsuit, it could be a very costly one, which could prompt other states to follow, as well as possibly making this an international situation if Canada were to pursue legal options as well.

For everybody being hard on the DNR here, give them a break, they’re doing their jobs to try and fight a never ending battle.  They’re heroes if they fix this.  They’re demons if they can’t.  Don’t blame the DNR for the Asian carp problem created by catfish farms in the south from years ago.

Posted by LunkerRadio on 12/08 at 08:41 AM

Oh, and in reference to the statements by Catfishwidowmakr, the state of Illinois is still investigating the Rock River incident caused by a tanker spill up north.  Gamefish WERE restocked including 55,000 smallmouth, along with 5,000 muskies.  Catfish populations are still VERY good there, and the DNR thinks they’ll rebound quicker than the other species.  You are entitled to your opinion, but if you’re going to give it, at least research a little, before you go regurgitating what you read in the news or on TV.  Some of your questions were already answered, all you had to do was look for them.

Posted by LunkerRadio on 12/08 at 08:48 AM

don’t worry some Asian will carry the carp above the barrier and turn it loose.seen them do it right here at home above a spillway this summer.I jumped their a$$es and their reply was everyone up stream should get enjoy this bountiful fish..what a bunch of idiots

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/10 at 02:25 PM

I am not a fisherman, but I am very up set with our goverment for allowing the asian carp to even get clost to the Great lakes. It really discusses me to think that the lakes are at risks. Frankly, I think that the river should be dammed up and the fish should not be allowed to go any farther. What is the matter with mankind???? They should have never have gotten this far. It just makes me sick to see what is happening to our wildlife. conserned

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/03 at 11:33 PM

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