Stopping Asian carp with CO2: shades of Godzilla

January 24, 2013 at 09:18 AM

Remember the movie “Godzilla”? Spoiler alert: They resorted to an “oxygen destroyer” to finally subdue the beast (before he came roaring back in all those subpar sequels).

Down in Urbana, they may have come up with their own oxygen-displacer to help contain the dreaded Asian carp.

University of Illinois researcher Cory Suski believes adding a carbon dioxide barrier could help keep the invasive species from entering Lake Michigan.

Suski said that carbon dioxide would repel all fish varieties, not just Asian carp, now believed to make up almost two-thirds of the aquatic life on the Illinois River.

Suski said that using CO(2) isn’t a new concept as fish hatcheries around the country use it to move fish around.

A carbon dioxide barrier wouldn’t replace the electric fence now in operation but serve as a supplementary tool to keep fish out of the Great Lakes, he said.

The next step will be to test CO(2) applications on a larger scale, while determining the costs and the effect it may have on other species, said Suski, noting that adding CO(2) makes the water slightly more acidic.

No word yet from the U of I if an actual oxygen destroyer-type device would have to be constructed if the technology were to be implemented.