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Maintenance to carp barrier awaits federal funding

November 04, 2009 at 06:40 PM

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The new $9 million electric barrier keeping invasive Asian carp out of Lake Michigan needs to be shut down for regular maintenance, but no one seems to have the money.

That maintenance is needed about every six months and it requires shutting down the electric barrier for a day or two—but before the power is shut off the canal in front of it needs to be poisoned to keep migrating fish from reaching the lake.

Poisoning costs about $750,000, but despite the millions going into the Great Lakes as part of President Barack Obama’s ecosystem restoration program no one seems to have the money.

Phil Moy is a University of Wisconsin Sea Grant biologist and co-chair of the panel helping the Army Corps manage the barrier. He says it’s “frustrating as hell.”

The barrier is about 20 miles downstream from Lake Michigan on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. It was first activated in April.

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OK, so on top of the massive amount it cost to build this thing, power it and maintain it, it still costs 1.5 million dollars per year to poison the river. ??? Great!
Wouldn’t it have been much more cost effective to block the river and transfer the cargo at that point? Then they would be sure these invasives could not get into the lakes.

Posted by carpsniper on 11/05 at 12:13 PM

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